CBP trumpets ongoing op against fake goods from China

In a single day, customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) intercepted 812 shipments from China containing counterfeit and otherwise illicit goods.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) action – dubbed Operation Mega Flex XVI – concentrated on detecting, intercepting and seizing illicit goods arriving in small parcels from China, and uncovered counterfeit footwear, handbags, and clothing, as well as prohibited plant and animal products.

The LAX operation is just one part of the nationwide campaign, which first started in July 2019. Memphis CBP revealed today that its clampdown yielded nearly 200 seizures of counterfeit ID cards and illegal narcotics over the past 16 months.

The majority of the seizures in Memphis were counterfeit drivers’ licenses, with shipments originating from China and shipped to various destinations throughout the US. Many of the shipments were smuggled in the bottom of boxes containing tassles, clothing, and even bundles of synthetic hair.

CBP’s New York Field Office meanwhile intercepted 300  international mail packages that could pose “health, safety, or economic threats to US businesses and consumers,” including illicit agriculture products that could introduce animal diseases into the US.

Since the start of Mega Flex XVI, CBP has seized more than 4,800 shipments around the country, and says 13 per cent of targeted shipments contain counterfeit goods or contraband.

“The e-commerce explosion has created a collateral massive underground market for all sorts of illicit goods, from fake prescription medicine, electronics, wearing apparel to prohibited food products containing potentially deadly animal diseases,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP LAX Area Port Director.

In fiscal 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights, which if sold at genuine product selling prices would have been worth $1.5bn.

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