Italian Customs Seize China-made Counterfeit Bearings

Following intelligence provided by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Italian customs officers this week seized more than 4,000 counterfeit bearings originating from China. Authorities said installing such copies into machinery is dangerous.

Counterfeit BearingsItalian Customs officers with the seized counterfeit bearings. (Photo: OLAF/AMD)“Based on information OLAF passed to Member States, the officials of Agenzia delle Dogane e Monopoli (ADM - Customs and Monopolies Agency) of Pavia, Office of Vigevano (near Milan), seized a significant amount of counterfeit bearings, amounting 4.157 pieces/370 kilos,” a joint OLAF and AMD statement read.

The inspection made it possible to identify two well-known manufacturers' counterfeit trademarks, according to AMD and stressed that the technological assessments made by the original manufacturers indicated the unauthorized duplication of their registered trademarks and the consequent infringement of the rights of intellectual property.

Having in mind that bearings are highly engineered, precision components that enable machinery to move efficiently at high speed and carry significant loads, used in a range of products, from motors to aircraft or electric fans, OLAF and AMD warned that the “illegal trade in such mechanical parts not only causes significant financial damage to the European industry but it is also a threat to public safety.”

“Whilst this may sound technical, the potential threat to everyone’s safety posed by counterfeit bearings is quite apparent,” OLAF stressed.