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US, Italian customs seize 115,000 luxury items

US, Italian customs seize 115,000 luxury items

VENICE: The Agenzia Delle Dogane E Dei Monopoli (Italian Customs), with partnership of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently completed Operation Dolce Vita, a bilateral Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement operation that targeted high value luxury items from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

“Joint Customs operations such as Dolce Vita, and the sharing of trade intelligence are key to protecting the trademark holder, the consumer, and the economy from counterfeit products,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.

Operation Dolce Vita conducted April 27 through May 10, 2014, resulted in 470 seizures of nearly 115,000 counterfeit items. This number includes a transshipment of 63,000 bottles of perfume seized by Italian Customs. The luxury goods seized were watches and jewelry at 38 percent (19,661 units) followed by footwear at 35 percent (18,062 pairs), handbags and wallets at 12 percent, and eyewear at 7 percent. Italy’s seizure of 63,000 bottles of perfume exceeds the 19,661 units of watches and jewelry, and would make perfume the greatest number of goods seized.

“Operation Dolce Vita is the perfect example of bi-lateral cooperation. This successful operation recognized the vulnerability of consumers in both our countries to predatory trade practices,” said Assistant Commissioner Charles Stallworth, CBP Office of International Affairs. “It is important to understand this type of operation does not just protect against financial loss but also represents a critically important effort to protect the public’s health and safety. Many of the counterfeit goods are applied to the person and therefore expose consumers to unknown and often dangerous combinations of chemicals and additives.”