Customs officers noticed a suspect shipment of 102 rolling bearings. A combination of packaging material in very bad condition, low goods value and a strange shipment route, helped them make the decision to contact the trademark owner to have the authenticity of the products verified.
A couple of hours after sending the verification request it was concluded that the products were indeed counterfeits. The 10 000 Euro value of the shipment written on the proforma invoice, was also investigated and it was found that the actual gods value was close to 150 000 Euro. Even the certificate that came with the shipment, to certify the authenticity of the products was proven to be a counterfeit certificate.
The potential consequences of using counterfeit rolling bearing can be a disaster for the user” says Mr. Löger from the Austrian Finance Department, Mr. Löger continues “counterfeit products violates material and trademark rights, hence having a direct financial impact, the health and safety aspect is also jeopardized as these products are of unknown quality”
Spherical roller bearings of this size is normally used within heavy industry, one application example can be an industrial gearbox and unknow quality of the product can lead to serious reliability issues. A failure in a rolling bearing in a public bus or in the cooling fans in a powerplant does not only affect the machinery, but also the companies involved and in worst case the workers or the public safety.
According to EU law the importer of counterfeit goods can amicably agree to the seizure and that the goods are destroyed by the customs authorities. This was the case in this situation and customs together with SKF ensured the destruction of the 102 rolling bearings in front of government officials and media.
Löger continues to say that “these counterfeit bearings will not do any harm now that they are destroyed, they will be properly recycled and the scrap metal will be re-used for something new and good. We are grateful that the Austrian Customs Authorities are dedicated to prevent the import of any counterfeit goods. By successfully stopping shipments of potential dangerous goods, we can protect our economy and the people”.