LOUISVILLE, Ky— From September 10-30 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Port of Louisville seized 66 separate shipments containing 3,345 counterfeit designer watches worth $67.07 million, and the flow of counterfeit watches continue. On October 4 and 5, CBP officers made two seizures of 59 Rolex and three Audemars Piguet counterfeit designer watches. Had these watches been real, they would have been worth $2.68 million.
The first shipment arrived from Hong Kong and was destined for a residence in Puerto Rico. The second shipment was arriving from Hong Kong and was heading to Miami. Officers inspected these parcels to determine if the goods were admissible in accordance with CBP regulations. The first shipment had 24 Rolex watches and 3 Audemars Piguet watches, while the second parcel contained 35 Rolex watches. The watches were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise. If they were real, the watches would have been valued at $987,000 and $1.69 million respectively.
“Our officers and import specialists have done an excellent job targeting shipments and identifying counterfeit items,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “CBP protects businesses and consumers every day with an aggressive intellectual property rights enforcement program.”
Historically, counterfeit watches and jewelry have been one of the top seized counterfeit products by CBP, with more than a quarter of the counterfeit goods coming from Hong Kong. Counterfeit watches and jewelry make up almost half of the total MSRP of seized goods (an average of $650 million over the last two years).
“CBP officers play a critical role in the Nation’s efforts to keep unsafe counterfeit and pirated goods from harming the American public,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “This is yet another dramatic example of how CBP officers work every day to protect the American consumer, the US economy and US jobs.”
Sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product but soon realize the item is substandard and potentially dangerous.
CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program, safeguarding them from unfair competition and use for malicious intent while upholding American innovation and ingenuity. Suspected violations can be reported to CBP here.
Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables. Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety, and fund criminal activity. Visit the National IPR Coordination Center for more information about IPR including counterfeiting and piracy.
Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion. CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
CBP’s border security mission is led at 328 ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.