LOS ANGELES—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seized 215 watches bearing counterfeit Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega registered trademarks.
The merchandise, which arrived from China via air cargo, was seized by CBP officials on August 8. If genuine, the seized watches estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price, sold at retail to the consumer would be $1,250,500.
"This seizure of these trademarked watches is testament to our officers' vigilance in protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers and retailers," stated Todd C. Owen, director of the Los Angeles Field Operations office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "It is just another example of the caliber of the CBP officers in performing their day-to-day duties."
CBP officers discovered the counterfeit merchandise after inspecting the shipment manifested as "watches" with a declared value of $173 and weighing 68 pounds.
Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious threat to our nation's economic vitality, the health and safety of the American consumers, our critical infrastructure and national security.
Approximately $1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in 2012.
With an estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price of $186 million, watches and jewelry ranked as a top-five commodity seized by CBP in fiscal year 2012. In the same period, watches and jewelry represented eight percent of the total number of seizures by CBP nationwide.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.