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U.S. Customs in Louisville seized counterfeit Louis Vuitton belts shipped from Hong Kong

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Nearly a half million dollars’ worth of counterfeit Louis Vuitton belts have been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville.

A parcel containing 216 fake belts, arrived in Louisville from Hong Kong and was destined for Atlanta, Georgia, when the shipment was spotted by CBP officers. If the items were real, the appraised total MSRP of the shipment would have been $453,600.

Customs Border Protection seized counterfeit designer belts. (Customs photo)

“CBP Officers in Louisville are committed to protecting the American consumer, the economy and the facilitation legitimate business,” Chief Customs and Border Protection Officer Brian Lick stated. “The sad reality is that counterfeiting is linked to crimes such as terrorism funding, human trafficking and child labor.”

The CBP says this is part of their Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program, or IPR, and that importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people.

On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.

CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year 2019, down from 33,810 seizures the previous year. However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion during that time.

E-commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In fiscal year 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments.

The People’s Republic of China, which includes both mainland China and Hong Kong, remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated value of all IPR seizures.

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