“Significant seizure” of counterfeit watches sends warning message to goods traffickers

Nearly $10m worth of counterfeit watches have been seized by the Mid-Atlantic Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP).

The CBP detained 699 counterfeit watches in Philadelphia which arrived on June 11 from Hong Kong. If authentic, the pieces would have sold for nearly $10m according to their suggested retail price.

The shipment arrived on June 11 from Hong Kong and was manifested as lithium batteries but, when CBP officers inspected the load, they found watches bearing the name Rolex, Tous, Hublot, Piguet, Panerai, Patek and Fossil.

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Officers then worked with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, who verified through trademark holders that the watches were counterfeit.

Joseph Martella, CBP port director for Philadelphia, said: “This is a significant seizure, both in terms of dollar value, and in the message that it sends to individuals and organizations that traffic in counterfeit and pirated goods. CBP officers are expertly trained and we remain vigilant to detect these illicit consumer goods at our ports of entry.”

On a typical day in 2017, CBP officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.

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