A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

U.S. Customs in Erlanger intercepts millions of dollars in fake jewelry shipped from China


By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

It’s back to the drawing board for some people wanting to sell fake jewelry and watches for Christmas as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Cincinnati seized over $9.5 million of counterfeit products in two shipments.

Fake jewelry (U.S. Customs photo)


One, which originated from Shenzen, China, was being sent to a home in Norcross, Georgia. Although it had a declared value of $315, the package held 171 items of jewelry or watches labeled as Versace, Michael Kors, Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dior, Tiffany, Bulgari, Armani, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Hublot, Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet, Louis Vuitton, Fossil, Omega or Rolex.


If genuine, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price would have been $8,419,017.


The second one intercepted by CBP officers came through a freight forwarder in Hong Kong and was heading to an individual in West Palm Beach, Florida. This shipment contained 113 counterfeit Cartier bracelets with a total value of $1,170,000, had they been real.


“These large seizures illustrate the work our officers do every day to protect our country, its citizens and the economy,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”


Intellectual property rights violations are associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises. CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses, safeguarding them from unfair competition and use for malicious intent while upholding American innovation and ingenuity.


In Fiscal Year 2020, CBP officers seized 26,503 shipments of counterfeit goods which would have been worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine. The most common counterfeited goods are watches and jewelry; apparel and related accessories; handbags and wallets; footwear; and consumer electronics.


CBP encourages consumers to be aware of counterfeit and pirated goods when shopping this holiday season, particularly when purchasing online.


Suspected violations can be reported to CBP here.


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