NEW YORK — U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than $450,000 worth of designer merchandise during “Operation Bad Gifts” at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility earlier this month, the agency said Tuesday.
CBP officers, technicians, import specialists and international trade specialists assigned to CBP’s Mobile Intellectual Property Enforcement Team all participated in the operation conducted Dec. 2 to 4 at JFK’s Air Cargo Center. They made 203 seizures of counterfeit sneakers, handbags, watches and sunglasses with Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, Chanel and Coach trademarks in violation of federal anticounterfeiting laws.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the bags, shoes, watches and other merchandise, if genuine, is estimated to be more than $450,000.
“CBP’s efforts to prevent these counterfeit items from entering the United States is crucial to protecting consumers and our economy,” said Robert E. Perez, director of field operations in New York. “Once again our CBP employees at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility have demonstrated their exceptional skill and superior commodity expertise.”
The Mobile Intellectual Property Enforcement Team is comprised of Intellectual Property Rights subject matter experts that are deployable to various ports of entry to conduct and provide additional staffing during IPR operations and to provide fundamental guidance on IPR policies, legal authorities and procedures for enforcement.
Last year, Homeland Security, which oversees CBP, reported intellectual property rights seizures increased 7 percent to 24,361 compared to fiscal 2012, as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the goods, had they been genuine, jumped 38 percent to $1.74 billion.