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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 Trade. 

“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.

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