The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) today announced that customs officers at Zurich airport have recently impounded more than 5,000 fake watches in one of the largest seizures ever made in postal traffic in Switzerland.
Between August and September 2013, customs at Zurich airport seized nearly 9,000 counterfeit items, including more than 5,000 watches. The goods, spread over a number of consignments and originating from the same source in Greece, were in transit en route to Spain and Portugal. It is one of the largest seizures ever made in postal traffic in Switzerland.
As the FH reports, counterfeiting is a serious problem for innovative Swiss industries, and watchmaking is particularly hard hit. Economic losses resulting from counterfeiting are in the order of two billion francs in Switzerland alone. At a global level, the losses add up to several hundred billion or more. Counterfeiting not only affects multinationals, but also many Swiss SMEs. It threatens the values that have made Switzerland what it has become today: innovation, perfection and expertise.
- Swiss Customs display the counterfeit products they have recently seized
The role of consumers is not without significance. By knowingly purchasing counterfeit goods, they not only support the counterfeiting industry and its illegal plundering of Swiss brands, but also assist other criminal activities which often go hand in hand with counterfeiting. A number of international studies have demonstrated clear links between organised crime and counterfeiting.
The FH, along with members of its Anti-Counterfeiting Group, has been taking the fight to counterfeiters for many years. It is active on real and virtual markets, organising seizures on the ground in many countries and closures of websites selling fake Swiss watches. It takes part regularly in training seminars for police and customs authorities around the world and seizes several hundred thousand fake Swiss watches each year, which it regularly destroys.