US customs seize fake Disney merch from Turkey

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News in Virginia have seized more than $130,000 in counterfeit consumer goods, including infant loungers and children's clothing and backpacks featuring Disney characters.

The goods were intercepted in a pair of shipments last month that arrived in the facility from Istanbul, Turkey – increasingly a source of counterfeit goods shipped to US and European markets, particularly for clothing – that were destined for addresses in Wilmington, Delaware and Baltimore, Maryland.

CBP officers suspected that the consumer goods were counterfeit and detained them to verify authenticity, and submitted documentation and photographs to experts at the agency's apparel, footwear and textiles centre in San Francisco.

The shipments consisted of mattress covers and infant loungers bearing counterfeit OKEO-TEX product safety labels, mosaic lamps bearing counterfeit UL (Underwriters Laboratories) safety certification marks, and backpacks and clothing bearing Disney and Marvel characters in violation of copyrights recorded with CBP.

"Unscrupulous vendors threaten the health and safety of unsuspecting consumers by peddling counterfeit goods as authentic and safe products, and as a grandparent, these seizures are particularly worrisome considering that some of these consumer goods were infant and children’s products,” said Mark Laria, Norfolk-Newport News area port director.

"CBP strongly encourages consumers to protect their families by purchasing authentic goods from reputable vendors," he added.

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