PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is heavily engaged in the whole-of-government response to the Coronavirus pandemic, but Philadelphia CBP officers are also conducting their primary trade enforcement mission and seizing counterfeit consumer goods, including eight fake Rolex watches on Tuesday that, if authentic, would have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $100,400.
This is the third significant counterfeit shipment that CBP officers recently seized in Philadelphia. Previously, CBP seized $113,683 in designer brand handbags on March 10, and $317,080 in counterfeit designer brand products that CBP officers seized on February 24.
CBP officers initially examined this latest shipment on March 9. The shipment, manifested as a plastic case from Hong Kong, contained eight Rolex watches. Officers detained the shipment due to the quality of the watches.
CBP officers worked with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts and verified through the trademark holder that the products were counterfeit.
“The quality of counterfeit consumer goods, like these fake Rolex watches, is getting better every year, but Customs and Border Protection officers, especially here in Philadelphia, are experts at detecting counterfeit products,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “CBP officers will continue to work with the trade industry and our consumer safety partners to intercept counterfeit products at our nation’s ports of entry.”
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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. 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.
Additionally, HSI arrested 256 individuals, obtained 197 indictments, and received 157 convictions related to intellectual property crimes during FY 2019.
The People’s Republic of China remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for a total estimated MSRP value of over $1 billion or 66 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.
CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov