Cincinnati, Ohio - On May 5, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment of jewelry deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
The package originated from Guangzhou, China, and was headed to a private residence in Akron, Ohio. Although it had a declared value of $80, the package held 383 items of jewelry bearing trademarks from Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Louis Vuitton. The jewelry would have been worth $866,120 had they been real.
Intellectual property is an important component of the U.S. economy, and Cincinnti Port Director Richard Gillespie emphasized the necessary role CBP plays in protecting the economy and consumer safety and health.
“We continue to enjoy unprecedented growth in e-commerce, and this growth serves as an ever-larger driving force behind the U.S. and world economies. It’s extremely important that as our trade avenues expand, our focus on enforcing intellectual property rights violations expands with it. Our officers are working hard day and night to guard our frontline against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”
There are several steps that consumers can take to protect themselves when shopping online. Purchase goods only from reputable retailers and be wary of third-party vendors. Check seller reviews and verify there is a working phone number and address for the seller, in case you have questions about the legitimacy of a product.
CBP has also established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.