Italian, US authorities block fake luxury goods

US customs at workA joint operation between US and Italian customs has resulted in the seizure of more than 110,000 counterfeit luxury items, including perfume, watches and jewelry, handbags and wallets and eyewear.

The bilateral operation - dubbed Dolce Vita - targeted high-value shipments en route to Europe and the US from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The two customs agencies exchanged information and targeted suspect cargo at all ports of entry in both the US and Italy.

"Joint customs operations such as Dolce Vita, and the sharing of trade intelligence are key to protecting the trademark holder, the consumer, and the economy from counterfeit products," said Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The operation was carried out between April 27 and May 10, but has only just been publicised. All told 470 seizures were made - netting 115,000 counterfeit items - with the largest a trans-shipment of 63,000 bottles of perfume seized by Italian customs. 

The remainder of the haul included nearly 20,000 watches and jewelry and 18,000 shoes, as well as several thousand handbags and wallets and designer glasses. 

"The intelligence gained in this operation will be instrumental in identifying future targets for intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement action.” said Richard Quinn, CBP attaché in Italy. 

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