That Fake Rolex You Buy In China May Cost You More Than The Real Thing

from the after-customs-has-its-way-with-you dept

Petréa Mitchell writes in to let us know about yet another case where trademark protection is being abused. "A guy decided to bring back some obviously fake Rolexes from China as souvenirs for his family. This was probably not a bright idea in any case, but US Customs thinks it's worth fining him $55,300. The fine is allegedly based on the street value of real Rolex watches, but he points out that there's no way anyone would pay a full Rolex price for fakes as obvious as these. The government says he should be glad it's only $55,300, because if Rolex had gotten personally involved it could have been $100,000... per watch." This one raises all sorts of questions. The thing is, buying these fake Rolexes shouldn't be against the law -- selling them should be. However, the guy wasn't caught selling them. Either way, while aren't there more important things for Customs to be doing than fining people for wearing fake Rolexes?

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  1. identicon
    Dickn52, 19 Sep 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Fake Rolex seizure

    Well, having been a US Customs Inspector at a major airport, and having come across these fake Rolex imports, I can only add that circumstances determine everything. the man willfully hid the fakes, which implies a knowledge of the law. We called it mitigating circumstances. These different acts increase or decrease the penalty assessed. The max would be about 8x the loss of revenue or higher. The appropriate duty is based on actual value declared, or with knowledge that can be adjusted. Duty is approximately 5.2% of the value. It's more complicated than that, but that's close. So if the guy had 8 watches that might have been worth (if real) 20,000 each. Then the penalty could have been at 8x=$83,000. He got off light. Don't smuggle. As for the number...1. You can bring back 1 (one) fake anything for personal use. It's a bending, not a breaking of the law. More than one, you give one up or we seized both and hammered you.

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