CINCINNATI – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment containing multiple watches on May 3. The watches, which came from Hong Kong, would have had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $577,800 had they been legitimate.
Officers inspected the shipment and discovered four luxury branded watches in their boxes. Based upon country of origin and inferior quality, officers suspected all were counterfeit. The watches were marked with trademarks owned by Jacob & Co, Audermars Piguet, and Rolex and were copies of the Astronomia Oak, Royal Oak, and Oyster Perpetual models, respectively. The shipment had an ultimate destination to an address in Miami, Florida.
“CBP promotes legitimate trade and travel,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Counterfeit goods negatively impact consumers and businesses. Officers are trained to identify illicit shipments and work diligently for American consumers by stopping the flow of unlawful trade.”
All of the watches were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), the agency’s trade experts.
“CBP protects the country in a multitude of ways, including enabling fair and compliant trade,” said Director of Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke. “Our officers and specialists intercept threats before they reach the consumer, which provides safety to our nation.”
There are several ways consumers can protect themselves from spending their money on fakes:
- Purchase goods directly from the trademark holder or from authorized retailers.
- Know what price the product should be selling for. If the item is priced well below a reasonable value, it could be counterfeit. If a price seems too good to be true, this it is.
- Look for legitimate web sites that offer customer service contact information and return policies.
- Review CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violations Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT -IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.