US Customs and Border Protection officers have seized a haul of 85 fake Rolex watches that would have been worth almost $6 million had they been genuine goods sold by an authorized dealer.
The watches were discovered at the Port of Cincinnati and deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
The watches originated from a plastic goods company in Hong Kong, transited through a freight forwarder in Saudi Arabia, and were ultimately destined to an apartment in New York City.
All of them displayed the protected Rolex trademark.
“Consumers should be aware that if a known high-value brand is being offered for an unusually low price, it could very well be fake. CBP encourages the use of reputable vendors for your valuable purchases,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”
On a typical day in Fiscal Year 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.
Watches and jewelry accounted for the largest portion of these totals at about 15 percent. Eighty-three percent of all counterfeit seizures originated in China and Hong Kong.
Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.