U.S. Customs and Border Protection San Juan Field Operations confirmed the seizure of about 1,000 counterfeit designer and luxury watches in a commercial shipment coming from the Dominican Republic.
The estimated worth of the seized products is some $420,583, had the goods been genuine, the agency said.
“Fake watches don’t have the quality of the genuine product,” said Leida Colón, sssistant director of field operations for trade. “These watches are made with substandard materials that don’t withstand the toils of daily use.”
The majority of the counterfeits the San Juan Field Office seized are illegitimate goods in the jewelry, footwear, clothing and prescription drugs product categories, coming mostly from Hong Kong and China.
“The sale of counterfeit goods robs legitimate businesses of revenue, robs American workers of jobs, and poses health and safety threats to U.S. consumers,” CBP said. “Often, the proceeds from counterfeit merchandise sales support nefarious or illicit businesses and activities.”
The counterfeit items are easily accessible online and can be shipped from almost anywhere in the world, the agency said.
“With a high demand for well-known brands, many online vendors sell counterfeit products online, infringing on various trademark holder’s rights and revenues,” CBP said.
CBP has established an educational “Truth Behind Counterfeits” campaign to raise consumer awareness “about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods.”