CHAMPLAIN, Quebec — Counterfeit perfume valued at $430,000 was seized at a Canadian port of entry, officials say.
On Feb. 21, a driver operating a tractor-trailer hauling a load listed as perfume attempted to cross the border from Quebec into the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a press release.
The shipment, seized on March 19, had suspicious labeling and packaging consistent with counterfeit goods, the release said.
Customs and Border Protection import specialists later confirmed the suspicions and found "violated trademarks" from Gucci, Calvin Klein, Dior, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren and Carolina Herrera, authorities said.
The forged trademarks were allegedly identical or "substantially indistinguishable" from the brands' authentic trademarks, Customs and Border Protection said.
Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents also participated in the extensive investigation.
Officials said counterfeit scents could pose risks to potential consumers.
“If you purchase counterfeit perfume, you don’t know what’s in it; what chemicals were used to make it," said Paul Mongillo, Customs and Border Protection port director at Champlain, Quebec.
“While counterfeiters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts, consumers can still act as the first line of defense in protecting themselves from substandard and often dangerous goods," said James Spero, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo, N.Y.
He said shoppers should look for telltale signs of counterfeit products, including prices that are unusually low in the current market and inferior quality in product materials.
"Saving a couple bucks is not worth risking your health," Spero said.
Krieg writes for the Plattsburgh (N.Y) Press-Republican.