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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

CBP Atlanta Delivers Counterfeit Awareness to Airport Travelers

Recent seizures this year include several designer purses bearing counterfeit trademarks at the Lewiston Bridge Port of Entry, and three shipments in Louisville containing various counterfeit luxury items such as handbags, jewelry and watches.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers and import specialists presented an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) outreach with travelers at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday.  

A table display of seized IPR merchandise at the airport’s International concourse afforded travelers an opportunity to speak with CBP officers, look over the items and ask questions about counterfeit products.

“Having CBP officers engage travelers one-on-one about counterfeit merchandise is valuable to educating the community,” said Zachary Thomas, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Atlanta. “Counterfeiting harms consumers and by allowing the public to see, understand and speak to an officer regarding these products, CBP increases the public’s understanding regarding the risks these products pose, not only to our economy, but to the health and safety of the consumer.”

This “Guard Against Counterfeits” awareness campaign for international travelers, called attention to the growing impacts of purchasing counterfeit goods, including the loss of American jobs and the support of criminal activity. In FY 22, CBP seized more than 25 million counterfeit items worth an estimated $3 billion, had the goods been genuine.

Recent seizures this year include several designer purses bearing counterfeit trademarks at the Lewiston Bridge Port of Entry, and three shipments in Louisville containing various counterfeit luxury items such as handbags, jewelry and watches.

Counterfeit products pose criminal, financial, and consumer safety risks for the United States and its citizens. For example, the purchase of counterfeit goods often supports the funding of criminal enterprises and activity, such as money laundering, smuggling, and trafficking illegal guns and drugs. Counterfeit products also have a large impact on the prosperity of the U.S. economy. When consumers purchase these counterfeit items, legitimate companies lose revenue, translating to lost U.S. jobs and profits over time. Furthermore, unscrupulous counterfeiters do not care about the wellbeing of the individuals who purchase their products. Many counterfeit products are low-quality and contain unsafe quantities of materials such as lead. The failure of counterfeiters to adhere to government standards can cause injuries or health problems.

CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 47 federal agencies, facilitating legitimate trade, collecting revenue, and protecting the U.S. economy and its consumers from harmful imports and unfair trade practices. CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border “outward” through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.

Read more at CBP

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