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Counterfeit Seizures Increase at California Port

Seizures of counterfeit products jumped 24 percent in November compared with a year ago at the largest U.S. port, Los Angeles-Long Beach.

Seizures of counterfeit products jumped 24 percent in November compared with a year ago at the largest U.S. port, Los Angeles-Long Beach.

This story first appeared in the November 30, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it seized $6 million in counterfeit goods from China this month at the Los Angeles port.

The trademarks of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, Levi Strauss and Nike were among the most common found on seized goods, authorities said.

Los Angeles-Long Beach processes five million containers annually, ranking it number one among ports of entry. Newark, the next largest port, processes one million containers a year. The Los Angeles port and airport combined collect $7 billion a year in revenues, according to customs.

Other counterfeit goods seized in November included Christmas lights and electrical light fixtures bearing fake Underwriters Laboratories labels. Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit that certifies the safety of products. Customs said counterfeiters will put fake UL labels on untested items, which allows potentially unsafe products to reach consumers.

“We cannot underestimate the threat of counterfeit merchandise that could pose health and safety risks to consumers” and also adversely affect the economy, Kevin Weeks, director of field operations for Customs in Los Angeles, said in a statement.