Italian officers confiscate dangerous mechanical parts from China.
Customs officers followed intelligence provided by OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) and successfully confiscated four thousand one hundred fifty-seven counterfeit bearings made in China. These counterfeits have threatened the public due to its high-volume production and the possibility that it has been long used in industrial machines.
A bearing is a machine component that reduces friction in kinetic parts and limits relative motion to the desired motion only. Its design may provide a linear or circular movement around a fixed axis. These are often used in industrial machinery such as:
- Electric fans
- Office equipment, or even paper-making machines.
Substantial technological developments result in increased production of machinery components. However, there are also a significant number of imitations discovered by European authorities.
The authorities are quite alarmed and emphasized that the installation of such imitations into appliances, equipment, construction, automobiles, and other types of machinery is extremely hazardous. The difference between real and counterfeit bearings is often unnoticeable, leading to life-threatening results among users.
Authorities believe that these counterfeit bearings were professionally manufactured, highly engineered, and comprehensively structured, its components’ precision enabling pieces of machinery to function efficiently.
Initial investigation also revealed that its functionality allows machines to carry significant loads, even at high speed. It will allow purchasers to enjoy smooth usage in the meantime, as there were usually no apparent signs of defects. However, imitations only function as effectively as the original ones in a short period of time.
European Anti-Fraud Office also emphasized that apparently, these illegal duplications will be a significant threat to not only buyer’s but everyone’s safety, especially when used long-term.
The fact that bearings are utilized in multitudes of industrial tasks and a wide range of machinery, from airplanes to home appliances, ADM – Customs and Monopolies Agency and European Anti-Fraud Office emphasized that trading of fake mechanical components (not only bearings) is extremely dangerous, causes great financial damage to the industry, and is punishable by law. A threat to public safety would directly jeopardize the European economy as well.
According to ADM – Customs and Monopolies Agency, a thorough inspection was conducted, and the officers identified two famous manufacturers’ fake trademarks. AMD also reported that original manufacturers’ technological examinations revealed evidence suggesting the subsequent copyright infringement of intellectual property and illegal duplication of the registered trademarks.
An ADM – Customs and Monopolies Agency and European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) anti-fraud statement said that the authorities of Agenzia Delle Dogane e Monopoli of Pavia, Office of Vigevano confiscated a huge number of counterfeit bearings, weighing 370 kilograms consisting of 4,157 pieces according to the information OLAF reported to the Member States.
A series of careful examinations on the components allowed inspectors to formulate conclusions on the said case. Investigators also revealed how similar the efficiency of these fake bearings is compared to the original material. It needs a certain level of expertise to expose the difference between the counterfeit and the original.