According to a USCBP press release dated Sept. 27, 2013, the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex unit of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized 16,053 fake Hermes high-end designer purses in 9 separate shipments from June 6, 2013 through September 17, 2013, all of which were falsely identified with the Hermes trademark, a direct violation of the Hermes trademark law.
The combined domestic value was reportedly $295,665, which appears paltry when compared to the Hermes genuine handbags whose value would have been $210,785,475. This shows a staggering potential profit for these counterfeit bags if they had been successfully marketed.
“CBP officers are trained to identify and interdict counterfeit goods, and this is a great example of how their training and expertise are employed every day in our ports of entry,” said CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles Todd C. Owen. “These counterfeiters are not only cheating the legitimate designers and manufacturers of protected trademark merchandise, but also the public and the U.S. government,” he added. (USCBP press release)
Eight of the shipments were coming from China, one from China via Hong Kong. Two had the knock-offs hidden in the nose of the containers with concealing attempts of packing legitimate, non-infringing merchandise behind them.
Five different importers sent the shipments. All were destined to surrounding areas of Los Angeles except for one destined to Texas. (Ibid)
The USCBP reports that their agents seized approximately $1.26 billion in value of counterfeit goods coming from various points overseas in 2012.They also report that the top five leading countries from which these counterfeit goods are shipped are China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Taiwan.
Nationwide, handbags and wallets comprised the greatest number of counterfeit items seized by CBP last year, with the value of seizures up 142 percent compared to 2011. Of the approximately $511 million in handbags and wallets seized, more than $446 million came from China. (Ibid)
Known, or suspicions of any violations of trade laws, including violations of intellectual property rights laws should be reported to CBP online. (e-Allegations Submission )