WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on Friday said it made 470 seizures of counterfeit products in April and May in partnership with its Italian Customs counterparts.
U.S. authorities said they worked with Italian Customs in a joint enforcement operation from April 27 to May 10 that snagged 115,000 counterfeit items. Fake watches and jewelry accounted for 38 percent of the seizure total, while footwear made up 35 percent. Handbags and wallets accounted for 12 percent of the total, and eyewear represented 7 percent. The seizures also included a transshipment of 63,000 bottles of perfume seized by Italian Customs.
The operation, dubbed “Dolce Vita,” targeted counterfeit luxury items from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“Operation Dolce Vita is the perfect example of bilateral cooperation. This successful operation recognized the vulnerability of consumers in both our countries to predatory trade practices,” said Charles Stallworth, assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of International Affairs. “It is important to understand this type of operation does not just protect against financial loss but also represents a critically important effort to protect the public’s health and safety. Many of the counterfeit goods are applied to the person and therefore expose consumers to unknown and often dangerous combinations of chemicals and additives.”