Louisville, Kentucky - As shoppers logon to purchase presents for friends and family, consumers need to know who they are buying their gifts from before they end up with a worthless item or empty handed. The first line of defense protecting U.S. consumers from receiving these counterfeit items are the officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


On December 1, CBP officers in Louisville halted four shipments, all from the same shipper in Hong Kong, that each contained 320 counterfeit Rolex watches. All four shipments were headed to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Each package was mis-manifested, and CBP officers inspected the parcel to determine the admissibility of its contents in accordance with CBP regulations. When each shipment was opened, officers found 320 counterfeit Rolex watches. The watches were reviewed by an import specialist who determined the items were counterfeit. In all, 1,280 watches were seized. If these items were real, the total MSRP for these would have been $25.2 million.

“During this holiday season consumers are always looking for the best deal, the unfortunate part is criminals are also online pedaling their counterfeit products,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Our CBP officers will continue to seize counterfeit items that threaten the safety and health of consumers and weaken the U.S. economy.”

CBP seizes a wide variety of counterfeit products from all over the world every year. In Fiscal Year 2019, CBP seized over 27,000 shipments of counterfeit goods worth over $1.5 billion, had the goods been genuine. The most commonly counterfeited goods are watches and jewelry; apparel and related accessories; handbags and wallets; footwear; and consumer electronics. Visit the National IPR Coordination Center for more information about IPR including counterfeiting and piracy.

CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.