U.S. Customs authorities said they seized shipments of counterfeit products at the Port of Newark in New Jersey and Los Angeles International Airport in the past five weeks.
Last month, officers at LAX confiscated 215 fake watches resembling those made by Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega. The estimated retail value of the real watches, which arrived by air cargo from China, is $1.2 million.
The watches were listed on the carrier's manifest as having a declared value of $173 pounds and weighing 68 pounds.
Watches and jewelry are one of the most commonly seized commodities by Customs and Border Protection, representing 8 percent of the total value of seizures nationwide.
In early August, CBP officers at Port of Newark seized a shipment from China of 70,000 consumer products such as razor blades, toys, sunglasses, markers and batteries for violating intellectual property laws. The estimated value of the consumer products is $3.9 million.
The Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center in Washington alerted the port officers about the suspicious shipment, which was taken to a central examination station for physical inspection. Specialists from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and CBP stationed at the fusion center share information on inbound shipments and coordinate how to target shipments that show signs of containing products with safety violations, either based on shipping patterns, new trends, information on customs documents and other intelligence.
Illegal trading under another company's trademark is a serious concern for industry because legitimate businesses lose sales to criminals making cheaper knockoffs of their products. - Eric Kulisch