November 2, 2021
LOUISVILLE, Ky— One of the most common counterfeited items that is seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are watches. On September 10, CBP officers in Louisville seized 2,168 counterfeit designer watches with a MSRP of $57.84 million.
The enforcement efforts did not stop there, on October 21, CBP officers Louisville inspected seven parcels to determine if the goods were admissible in accordance with CBP regulations and found a total of 54 designer watches. CBP’s trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise determined that all the watches were counterfeit. The watches originated from Hong Kong and Turkey and were destined for residential addresses in Florida and Michigan.
One of the more notable seizure contained 21 counterfeit Richard Mille watches that was destined for an address in Miami. This shipment would have been worth $25.56 million if authentic. The other shipments contained 33 more counterfeit designer watches that would have been worth more than $1.3 million if they were real.
Counterfeit watches and jewelry are 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).
“This is a significant seizure for CBP, but unfortunately, CBP officers see counterfeit shipments like this every day,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-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.”
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.