Nike Knockoffs Seized at Seaport

Shoes found during inspection in California.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday that it seized 10,900 pairs of fake Nike shoes at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport last month.

If they were legitimate, the shoes seized would have been worth $1.8 million, CBP said. The appraised domestic value of the shipment was $381,740.

Sixteen pairs of used shoes were mixed in with the confiscated counterfeit shoes, an apparent attempt to hide the true nature of the shipment, CBP said. 

The shipment originated in China and arrived with no indication of the type of shoes in the container. CBP marked the container for inspection on May 21. CBP officers discovered the fake goods during the inspection and seized all the shoes for “federal violation of merchandise bearing a counterfeit trademark,” the agency said.

CBP said that Nike officials informed them that they had not authorized either the importer or the exporter declared on the shipment to use their registered trademark.

In fiscal year 2008, CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized $103.3 million in fake shoes. Footwear as a category of merchandise was seized most often, accounting for 36 percent of intellectual property seizures. In 2008, CBP and ICE seized $272.7 million worth of counterfeit items nationwide, according to agency statistics.

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