WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized six shipments of counterfeit luxury goods with an estimated retail value of more than $10 million last week.
This story first appeared in the June 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Goods seized included handbags from Coach, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as Gucci shoes and belts and Nike Air Jordan and Nike Air Force One sneakers. The fake goods were appraised at more than $1.6 million, CBP said.
On Friday, the agency said shipments that originated in China were identified for possible intellectual property violations last Monday and Tuesday as they came through the Newark seaport. The goods were falsely declared as stuffed bears, acrylic rugs, furniture and paper boxes.
“We are grateful for the work that Customs and Border Protection is doing to protect our borders as well as stopping illegal products from entering. We have a long history of working with the CBP and will continue to provide our help and support,” said Todd Kahn, senior vice president and general counsel for Coach Inc.
The other luxury goods companies whose goods were seized either declined to comment on the seizure or could not be reached by press time.
The fake merchandise was headed to several locations in New York, South Carolina and Georgia, CBP said.
“Stemming the flow of importer counterfeit and pirated goods remains a high priority for the agency,” said Robert E. Perez, operations director for CBP in New York. “With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of pirated goods.”
In fiscal year 2008, the most recent full-year data available, CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized $227.7 million worth of counterfeit items nationwide, according to agency statistics.