Customs seizes $4.4M in counterfeit products in P.R./USVI
U.S. Customs and Border Protection San Juan Field Operations announced the seizure of counterfeit products imported into Puerto Rico via international mail or courier before and after the holidays.
The estimated manufacturer
suggested retail price of all the counterfeit products seized to date is an
estimated $15 million. The actual price of the purchased merchandise is
approximately $4.4 million, CBP said.
“Purchasing knock-offs of
high-end, high-demand products online does have a great impact on the local
economy,” indicated Leida Colon, assistant director of Field Operations for
“Unfair and illegal competition
dislocates appropriate local business activity, with clear negative effects on
local consumers, governments and the potential economic recovery,” she said.
In a six-day special operation in January, CBP officers intercepted 73 packages with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations valued at an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of $1.8 million.
Among the fraudulent
merchandise CBP officers seized are watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and
sunglasses that were illegally using known brands such as Rolex, Hublot, Gucci,
Louis Vutton, Pandora, Tous and Nike, among many others.
The manufacture of counterfeit
goods raids legitimate businesses of revenue, deprives American workers of jobs
and poses health and safety threats to U.S. consumers. In many instances, the
proceeds from counterfeit merchandise sales supports other nefarious and
illicit businesses, CBP said in a statement.
CBP has an aggressive IPR enforcement program, which targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR goods.
“Despite these efforts, the
internet has made it easy to find, purchase, and ship items from almost
anywhere in the world. With a high demand for well-known brands, many
online vendors sell counterfeit products online, infringing on various
trademark holder’s rights and revenues,” CBP officials said.