Washington, DC - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and French Customs General Directorate announce the results of Operation Bathe and Beaute, a bilateral Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement operation targeting counterfeit personal care products and electric personal care devices. The joint operation, conducted from April 8 through May 4, resulted in the seizure of 76 shipments of more than 31,000 counterfeit items for a combined manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $541,000.

“Operation Bathe and Beaute reflects our ongoing efforts to interdict illegal trade in counterfeit merchandise, which threatens the competitiveness of legitimate businesses and can jeopardize consumer health and safety,” said Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith of CBP’s Office of International Trade. 

“After the successful Core Systems operation in late 2013, this fourth joint operation between CBP and French Customs demonstrates once again how important it is to exchange information and act together to fight organized crime in a global world,” said François Richard, French Customs Attaché.

The four week operation focused on personal care products and devices that potentially introduce dangerous chemicals and bacteria to the skin and eyes or burning or electrocution due to non-standardized wiring and ineffectual family planning protection to the consumer.  Products seized during this event included make-up, condoms, hair removal devices, contact lenses, hair curlers, straighteners and skin cleansing devices.

International collaboration, including joint customs operations and the sharing of trade intelligence, are key to protecting the trademark holder, the consumer and the economy from counterfeit products.

Operation Bathe and Beaute is the most recent example of the effectiveness of joint operations between customs authorities. In 2013, CBP joined French and German customs authorities to target pharmaceuticals.

Throughout Operation Bathe and Beaute, the two customs agencies shared trend analyses and information generated from the seizures, as appropriate.  The shared seizure data will also be used for targeting in the future.

The shared information enables the agencies to improve targeting effectiveness, detect transshipment of counterfeit personal care products and personal care electronic device shipments, and also to identify networks and common shipping methods for these product types.