Smart watch packaging

The counterfeit smart watches packages.

Counterfeit smart watches valued at nearly $600,000 were seized Wednesday at the International Falls port of entry.

The watches were found when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers targeted a rail container destined to arrive in Ranier, and upon inspection discovered smart watches in violation of intellectual property rights, or IPR regulations.

CBP seized the 19,752 counterfeit smart watches with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $592,560, if the goods had been genuine.

“The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us,” said Anthony Jackson, International Fall sport director, in a news release. “CBP works diligently to protect companies from unauthorized use of their trademarks as well as consumers from counterfeit products.”

Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people, the release said. For more information on CBP’s IPR priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.

With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods. To combat the illicit trade of merchandise violating laws relating to IPR, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying merchandise that violates U.S. law.

CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border “outward” through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.

CBP has established an educational initiative at U.S. international airports and online to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that can be associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. These include the loss of American jobs, support of criminal activity, significant risks to consumer health and safety, and the impacts of unknowingly purchasing counterfeits online. For more information, see www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.

Information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity should be directed to the CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.

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