In Time for Valentine’s Day: CBP Seizes $31 Million in Fake Perfume
LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex have seized 475,056 bottles of imported perfume bearing counterfeit trademarks in the recent months leading up to Valentine’s Day. If genuine, the seized perfumes had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $31 million.
Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2018, Oct. 1, 2017, to Jan. 31, 2018, CBP officials have intercepted 11 shipments containing counterfeit and confusingly similar fragrances in violation of the registered trademarks belonging to 34 top name brands.
CBP officers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport have seized more than $31 million in counterfeit perfume so far in Fiscal Year 2018.
Counterfeit brands included Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Coach, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Guess, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Victoria Secret, and Perry Ellis among others.
Counterfeiters mislead consumers by creating products that are confusingly similar to the real commodity. Upon first glance you see the name brand packaging, both box and perfume bottle have colors resembling those of the genuine products. Oftentimes the perfumes state they are manufactured in France to emphasize a more luxurious product, but upon closer look, they are actually made in China.
“These interceptions attest to CBP officers and import specialists’ extraordinary vigilance and keen expertise in detecting, intercepting and seizing dangerous imports,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “The theft of intellectual property and trade in fake goods threaten America’s economic vitality and national security, and the American people’s health and safety.”
Trade in illegitimate goods, such as counterfeit perfume,is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program.
Fragrance is absorbed by the body; therefore, consumers should be aware that wearing counterfeit perfume could expose them to potentially hazardous chemicals. Counterfeit fragrances are commonly bought online and in flea-markets.
Nationwide, pharmaceuticals and personal care products comprised eight percent of the number of counterfeit seizures by CBP in fiscal year 2016. With an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $73 million, pharmaceuticals and personal care products represented 5 percent of the total goods seized.
In fiscal year 2016 approximately $1.4 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP. China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Cambodia are the top five countries of origination for counterfeit goods seized by CBP.