Are you buying and receiving genuine NSK products?

NSK bearings

Most users that receive counterfeit bearings believe that they have purchased genuine products and, not being bearings 'experts', will find it very difficult to tell the difference between real and counterfeit products at the point of delivery.

Another potential cause of vulnerability to counterfeits is when subcontractors are used for rotating equipment repairs on assets such as electric motors, pumps, gearboxes and fans.

Unless vetted to ensure they are aware of the risk and have the appropriate controls in place to avoid it, they may inadvertently purchase and install counterfeit bearings during the repair or refurbishment.

Where are counterfeits from?

where are counterfeits from

Counterfeit bearings tend to originate from suppliers in countries where the cost of manufacturing is low and where intellectual property protection is weaker.

They use lower grade materials that are often processed on ageing machines operated by minimum wage operatives a high risk combination when users are expecting a quality product.

They then package these counterfeit bearings in boxes designed to resemble original manufacturer packaging — trying to disguise the inauthenticity of the product, cheating purchasers and users.

What are the risks of counterfeits?

Buying low quality bearings will result in higher maintenance and lost production costs as a result of premature failures. This means end users will spend more as they have to buy replacement bearings more frequently. Sometimes, bearings can be classified as “safety critical” components, dependent on the criticality of the application they are used on, for example, airplanes, trains and medical equipment. Therefore buying from low priced suppliers is a potential recipe for reliability problems and higher costs. End users should be prepared to pay a higher price for a premium quality product, technical support and the after sales service that comes with it. Fake bearings bring danger, costs and unreliability.

Features of counterfeit bearings?

Workers assembling counterfeit bearings during a raid

Workers assembling counterfeit bearings during a raid

Cleaning machine which are not so clean found at the raid site

Cleaning machine which are not so clean found at the raid site

  • Inconsistent quality
  • High risk of failure
  • High risk of machinery downtime and damage
  • Process and maintenance cost escalation
  • Products & components from uncontrolled sources
  • No local technical back-up
  • No materials development
  • Material purity not guaranteed and material weakness
  • No heat treatment development so material performance reduced
  • Performance will not match that of the original NSK specification

What is NSK doing to fight the counterfeit issue?

Protect our customers

  • Protect human life, property and machine reliability
  • Promote authorised dealer network
  • Exclude illegal players and products from the market via promotion and awareness

Terminate presence of counterfeit operations

  • Eliminate the counterfeit syndicates
  • Suspend counterfeit manufacturers' operations and distribution channels
  • Conduct legal action against counterfeit manufacturing sources

Promote the value of the NSK brand

  • Recognition of real value and value authorised distribution
  • Conduct brand protection and intellectual property protection activities
  • Provide educational programs for dealers/colleagues

Cooperation with authorities in China

  • Co-operate on raids and legal prosecutions
  • Protect out-flow of counterfeits by Customs and Border Control by
    • Major trading countries
    • Raid activities by central and local government organisations

Only buy from reliable authorised channels.

  • Carefully chosen and meticulously monitored, NSK Authorised Distributors are professional, knowledgeable and service orientated.
  • An authorised NSK distributor will never supply fake or counterfeit NSK.
  • Technical and Engineering support is only available through authorised distributors.
  • Check that the distributor you plan to buy from is authorised by NSK.
  • With extensive stocks of NSK and RHP products and unlimited access across the range, they deliver genuine orders quickly and reliably — as well as everything from stock management to product and application knowledge, through to engineering advice and support based on a total-cost approach.
  • Every NSK A uthorised Distributor is part of a tripartite relationship (Manufacturer — Distribution — End User) delivering the peace of mind that comes as part of a fully committed global and local alliance.
  • If you have any concerns about the authenticity of the NSK bearings you have received, contact your local NSK personnel for verification.

Click here for Global Distributors nearest to you.

NSK's fight against counterfeiting continue with a new app

NSK Verify

NSK works closely with the WBA (World Bearing Association), JBIA (Japan Bearing Industry Association) and authorities around the world to enforce the law on counterfeiters, and eliminate fake bearings including — through app development.

NSK engages in multifaceted efforts to combat fake bearings. Recent efforts include the 'NSK Verify' app, that allows customers to assess the authenticity of machine tool bearings by scanning a special barcode found on the box.

Click here for NSK Verify and WBACheck.

More useful information


NSK Europe Quality Policy Statement

NSK Europe Ltd is committed to a culture of continual improvement as well as the development of its quality management.

The system in operation is based upon ISO 9001 and customer specific requirements, including IATF 16949, providing a framework in which business objectives are established and reviewed, through our process of policy deployment.

All of our European sites are certified to ISO 9001:2015

All of our automotive operations are certified to IATF 16949:2016

Please follow this link and view all Worldwide Certifications.

Counterfeit Bearings, Comp

The Risks of buying Counterfeit Bearings and how to avoid them

Counterfeit bearings are a global issue, with all markets being highly susceptible to the risks of buying these low-quality products.

As a leading manufacturer of premium-quality bearings, NSK is focused on eradicating this issue – an issue that ultimately leads to users experiencing higher costs, higher risk and reduced machine reliability as a result of more frequent bearing failures.

In this white paper, we will look at the origins of counterfeits, the different types, the risks attached in buying them, and how to safeguard your organisation against buying and receiving counterfeit bearings. We will also explain what NSK is actively doing to stop manufacturers of these extremely dangerous products.


Fake Bearing, Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting - Don't Fake It

NSK has teamed up with the World Bearing Association (WBA) along with other bearing manufacturers to combat counterfeiting. WBA, a non-profit and unincorporated industrial association, has created an Anti-Counterfeiting Committee.

This committee is dedicated to addressing the counterfeiting of premium brand bearings and to assist enforcement agents in the eradication of counterfeits.

NSK Technical Insight - Counterfeiting - Don’t Fake It

Apps & Tools

NSK is working closely with the WBA (World Bearing Association), the JBIA (Japan Bearing Industry Association) and authorities around the world to enforce anti-counterfeiting law and eliminate fake bearings – now through app development.


NSK Verify App

NSK has launched a free app primarily for precision bearings for machine tools.
Scan 2D barcodes printed on NSK bearing boxes to assess bearing authenticity and access inspection reports online.

The app enables easier factory automation and IT-based plant management. CSV and PDF export of key information empowers customers to track usage history, improve product traceability, and even simplify bearing selection.

*Note: Only bearings with an “N” marked at the bottom right of the 2D barcode are currently supported.

NSK Verify App Documentation

World Bearing Association

WBA Bearing Authenticator

The WBA (World Bearing Association) App helps you recognise fake bearings and protect your employees, your equipment and your reputation


When is a bearing not just a bearing?