The United States government—working hard to ensure you’re not faking your It bag. U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized over 1500 counterfeit Hermès handbags last month. If they were full price, that would be over $14 million USD worth.
Two shipments were intercepted in Los Angeles from China last month, where the bags were in transit to Mexico and an unnamed U.S. location, the Los Angeles Times reports. Those companies have been warned, but traditionally the punishment for importing counterfeit goods is a slap on the wrist.
It’s no wonder Hermès bags are popular knockoffs. While the calfskin Fourbi bag goes for $515, the Garden Party bag is $3,400, the Victoria is $4,760, and the Calèche-express is $7,095. Signatures such as the Kelly and Birkin easily retail for $8,000 plus, which you will have plenty of time to save up for while you’re on the waiting list (unless, as Sex and the City taught us, you are Lucy Liu).
The counterfeit market in the U.S. is a billion dollar industry–$1.26 billion in knockoffs were caught by customs in 2012. Canada’s border is looser, and a new bill is on the table to give “border officers the authority to detain suspected commercial shipments and contact the rights holders” and “create new offences for trademark counterfeiting,” among other things. It also adds holograms into the definition of a trademark, so don’t get any ideas Tupac.