String of fake fashion goods seizures by CBP

US customs at workUS customs have made a series of high value seizures involving fake designer clothing and accessories in the last few days.

At the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted almost 4,000 belts bearing counterfeit Hermès trademark with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3.2m. The belts - which were seized en route from China and had the Hermès trademark stamped on the boxes, on the back of each belt and engraved on the back of the belt buckle - are "part of a new generation of counterfeit fashion goods offering much more convincing copies of actual products," according to the CBP.

The case was followed a few days later by the interception of around 11,000 counterfeit Gucci and Coach handbags - once again shipped from China - at Miami seaport. Had the goods been genuine, the designer handbags would have an estimated MSRP of $4.9m, according to the CBP. In this case the shoddy manufacture of the bags made it easier to establish that the goods were not genuine, it said.

Meanwhile, customs officers also snared a shipment of counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses from China with an MSRP of around $123,000 at Tampa airport. Once again the goods were suspected of being counterfeit because their quality did not appear to be consistent with products manufactured by the brand owner.

China and Hong Kong were the top source countries for counterfeit goods seized by CBP in fiscal 2014, according to the agency's annual report for the year.

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