CINCINNATI— On August 28, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized 200 counterfeit Rolex watches from a shipment manifested as “timer” originating in China and destined to an individual in New York, NY.
Officers reached out to the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) to determine if the watches were counterfeit. Had they been genuine, the watches would have been worth more than $2.5 million, although the declared value was only $1.
“Intellectual property theft threatens America’s economic vitality and funds criminal activities and organized crime,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting private industry and consumers by removing these kinds of shipments from our commerce.”
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.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is a priority trade issue for CBP. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, CBP and their partner agency Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) seized 27,599 shipments containing IPR violations with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.5 billion had the goods been genuine. Watches and jewelry represent 15 percent of all IPR seizures, and continue to top the list of all seized IPR materials.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.