U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists seized 215 watches bearing counterfeit luxury brand names in a shipment to Los Angeles International Airport last month.
The merchandise, which bore registered trademarks such as Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega, arrived from China via air cargo and was seized by CBP officials on Aug. 8, CBP spokesman Jaime Ruiz said.
If genuine, the seized watches would have a total estimated retail value of $1.25 million, Ruiz said.
CBP officers discovered the items after inspecting the shipment manifested as “watches” with a declared value of $173 and weighing 68 pounds, Ruiz said.
“This seizure of these trade-marked watches is testament to our officers’ vigilance in protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers and retailers,” said Todd C. Owen, director of the Los Angeles field operations office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “It is just another example of the caliber of the CBP officers in performing their day-to-day duties.”
According to CBP, approximately $1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by the agency in 2012.
With an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $186 million, watches and jewelry ranked as a top-five commodity seized by CBP in fiscal year 2012, the agency reported.