It’s no secret that LA is known for fake everything.. um, various kinds of augmentation, hair, tans, etcetera. But according to WWD the AAFA (American Apparel and Footwear Association) is also drawing attention to the fact that the LA Longbeach port is the second largest in the nation for smuggling in counterfeit goods. At their annual Knock It Off: Brands and the Counterfeiting Quandary conference they discussed the "additional challenges the port faces include quota circumvention, duty
evasion and intellectual property rights. The bulk of goods that pass
through the port come from China, he said."
As it stands, "Current training
programs for customs officers to spot fakes offered by apparel
companies are a good example of successful industry-agency
partnerships. But more work can be done." Apparently the top violators as of late are footwear counterfeiters– Nike shoes being the top duplicate. For more information go to WWD or see below.– Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
LONG BEACH, Calif. — To better fight counterfeit
imports into the U.S., partnerships between government agencies and
industry are essential, said experts during a tour of the Container
Examination Station in Carson, Calif., last week.
The visit was
part of the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s annual Knock
It Off: Brands and the Counterfeiting Quandary conference. The dock
visit was facilitated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the
Department of Homeland Security.
"We can’t be successful at
stemming the tide of goods without the help of industry," said Kevin
Weeks, director, field operations, Los Angeles.
containers of goods entered the U.S. in the last full fiscal year
through the Los Angeles-Long Beach port of entry. As a result, it is
the busiest port in the U.S. As a comparison, Weeks said, the country’s
second-largest port in Newark processed one million containers during
the same period. The port and Los Angeles International Airport collect
revenues of more than $7 billion.
"We are very busy and we
collect a lot of money," Weeks said. Additional challenges the port
faces include quota circumvention, duty evasion and intellectual
property rights. The bulk of goods that pass through the port come from
China, he said.
Current training programs for customs officers
to spot fakes offered by apparel companies are a good example of
successful industry-agency partnerships. But more work can be done.
for instance, represents the biggest intellectual property problem at
the port, said Patti Dondero, supervisory import specialist for the
footwear, handbag and luggage and toy team. Nike shoes in particular
are seen frequently, she said.
The officers doing inspections
look for patterns and trends to help them spot intellectual property
violations, Dondero said. "I do reach out to trademark owners and talk
to them. We keep in contact about shipping patterns, what to look for,"
Joanie Schoeny, supervisory customs border protection
officer, who oversees the officers who conduct inspections, detailed
some of the tactics used by counterfeit importers.
involved a counterfeiter shipping fake Louis Vuitton handbags that were
sewn into a generic tote bag with no labels. What caught the inspecting
officer’s attention was how ugly the bag was, Schoeny said. When the
linings of the pink and yellow totes were cut open, fake Vuittons were
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