WASHINGTON — Federal authorities said Wednesday they seized a shipment of counterfeit Salvatore Ferragamo shoes with an estimated value of $4.3 million.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in conjunction with staff from the agency’s Center of Excellence and Expertise seized 7,800 pairs of bogus Ferragamo shoes at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex.
Officials said the counterfeit merchandise arrived in Los Angeles in two separate shipments from China on July 20. The agency said the quantity and value of the shoes are an indication of the profits involved in the “illegal trade” of luxury goods.
“These seizures demonstrate the high level of skill and vigilance of our officers in protecting the intellectual property rights of companies and individuals, as well as preventing the proliferation of counterfeit luxury footwear, potentially damaging our national economy,” said Sergio Espinoza, CBP Acting Port Director of Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
About $1.35 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in fiscal year 2015. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania and Turkey were the top five countries of origin for counterfeit goods seized by CBP in fiscal year 2015.
Ferragamo has continued building on its anticounterfeiting efforts and has focused on China and the web, as reported.
Last year, the company said it intercepted or blocked 91,000 online advertisements for counterfeit products and recovered or canceled 140 domain names and illegal web sites, primarily managed by Chinese individuals.
Ferragamo Group chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo said in March the company expanded the number of e-commerce sites that it monitors in 2015 and has also increased monitoring of trade fairs and resellers in the Chinese market.
The company also started embedding microchips in its women’s shoes with its pre-fall 2014 collection to help the luxury brand track products and guarantee their authenticity. The brand started inserting microchips in its men’s shoes with the cruise 2015 collection and in women’s small leather goods, luggage and bands with the fall 2015 collection.
Global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has reached an estimated $461 billion a year, and American, Italian and French brands have been the hardest hit, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office.
Among the most frequently seized counterfeit goods were footwear, apparel, electrical machinery, watches and medical instruments, the report found.
China remains the number-one spot origin for counterfeit products, accounting for 63.2 percent of total global seizures in 2013, the study said.
In the U.S., federal authorities seized $1.35 billion in counterfeit and manufactured goods imported into the U.S., based on an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the goods, in fiscal year 2015.
China remained the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized, accounting for an estimated MSRP value of $697 million, or 52 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures. Bogus apparel and accessories, along with watches and jewelry, were the top-two product categories seized.