CBP nabs more than $873K in counterfeit goods in Puerto Rico
In just two days, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists seized 44 shipments from several express consignment facilities in Puerto Rico containing products violating intellectual property rights.
The combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the authentic versions of these items would total approximately $873,000, the federal agency stated.
The seized products included clothing, footwear, jewelry, purses and watches, originating from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Colombia and Singapore.
“Illicit trade in counterfeit goods can be found in all products and all industries, representing a significant threat to America’s innovation economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers and, in some cases, national security and the health and safety of consumers,” said Efraín Rivas, assistant director of Field Operations for Trade at the San Juan Field Office.
“This operation showcased our team’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding intellectual property and upholding the integrity of legitimate commerce,” he added.
In the 2022 federal fiscal year, the San Juan Field Office made 1,377 seizures with a combined MSRP of more than $36 million, while in fiscal year 2023, the Field Office executed 1,313 seizures with a combined MSRP of nearly $21 million, the agency stated.
When shopping online, consumers need to beware of counterfeit goods. Fake goods can lead to real dangers, which are not always obvious to consumers, officials warned.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, e-commerce is increasingly being used by counterfeiters to sell fake and potentially dangerous items to consumers, some of whom actively seek out low-priced counterfeits, while others purchase the items believing they are legitimate.
The CBP has established an educational initiative to increase consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods, whether online or in stores.