U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Minneapolis seized two shipments of fake designer clothes worth more than $550,000.
According to a news release, CBP officers on Jan. 22 seized the shipments arriving from Laos, with officers noting the clothing had "various inconsistencies, poor quality and incorrect packaging."
The items – handbags, wallets, fanny packs and phone cases with logos from designers that included Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel – were headed to two separate addresses – one in Minneapolis, the other in Superior, Wisconsin.
It was then determined the goods violated CBP trademark and copyright codes. If the goods were authentic, they'd be worth $562,719.
“CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies. CBP officers play a critical role in the Nation’s efforts to keep unsafe counterfeit and pirated goods from harming the American public,” said Area Port Director-Minneapolis Augustine Moore in a statement. “This is yet another dramatic example of how CBP officers work every day to protect the American consumer, the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs.”
CBP says counterfeit merchandise is frequently made with inferior materials, manufactured in poor conditions and labeled with fake information, which could potentially threaten the health and safety of people who use the products.
Every year, CBP seizes millions of fake goods. In 2020, the agency seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.