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Watches Worth $3.1M Seized by CBP Officers in Chicago

Release Date: 
July 10, 2020

CHICAGO–From June 21 to July 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the International Mail Facility at Chicago O’Hare seized 193 counterfeit watches worth more than $3.1 million.counterfeit Clocks

The CBP officers seized a total of 175 parcels during this timeframe. Most of the parcels were inspected because they were mis-manifested and had x-ray anomalies. The officers had the watches inspected and appraised by an import specialist. Due to the poor packaging, low value and poor quality they were deemed counterfeit. Most of the packages had only one watch inside, and most of the watches were Rolex. If these watches were real, the MSRP for the watches would have been $3,172,438. 

“This is a significant seizure for CBP, but unfortunately, CBP officers see counterfeit shipments like this every day,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director, Chicago. “Counterfeit goods like this, come in by the truck-load on a nightly basis all across the nation threatening businesses and conning the consumer.”   

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.

On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2019.

CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, down from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018. However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.

E- Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments.

The People’s Republic of China (mainland China and Hong Kong) remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.

Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for Fiscal Year 2019 for more IPR stats and analysis.

Last modified: 
July 10, 2020