Fake Perfumes Seized Leading Up to Valentine’s Day
Yesterday U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the seizure of nearly 500,000 bottles of counterfeit perfume at the Los Angeles seaport complex. Since October 1, 2017, authorities have intercepted 11 shipments that have contained trademark violating counterfeits of 34 top perfume brands. Upon first glance, the items resemble authentic products with nearly identical labeling and packaging, but have very subtle differences that can fool the inattentive consumer.
Counterfeit goods are a threat to the American economy as they violate the intellectual property rights of the rightful brand owners. Many of the products seized were violating the trademarks of many well-known brands including Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Versace. When these inferior items are sold to the public posing as authentic goods, consumers can lose confidence in these brands, leading to future revenue shortfalls.
Aside from their economic distortions, counterfeit perfumes in particular are a major health risk for Americans. Perfumes come into direct contact with skin and are absorbed into the body. Counterfeit perfumes can contain potentially harmful chemicals that are used to imitate their authentic adversaries.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products comprised 5% of counterfeit seizures by Customs in 2016, with a suggested retail of over $73 million. The efforts by Customs and Border Protection show the importance of being able to recognize counterfeit products when they are imported.
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