Feds Seize More Than $1.2 Billion Worth of Counterfeit Items
There were 23,140 counterfeit seizures in fiscal year 2014—worth an estimated $1.2 billion if the products had been genuine.
While this number declined 5 percent from a year before, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deemed fiscal year 2014 its third busiest since 2005, according to a joint report released last week with Homeland Security Investigations unit of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The total dollar value of seizures also decreased about $500 million in fiscal year 2014. China remains the top provider, based on price, with 63 percent of the $1.2 billion. Hong Kong follows with 25 percent while all other countries had 1 percent or less.
Apparel was the No. 1 commodity based on number of seizures, but watches/jewelry was No. 1 based on value of the seizures (about $375.4 million). Handbags/wallets ($342.0 million), electronics ($162.2 million), apparel ($113.7 million) and pharmaceuticals/personal care ($72.9 million) rounded out the top five for estimated cost of the seizures while electronics (6,610), pharmaceuticals/personal care (2,417), handbags/wallets (2,221) and footwear (1,961) rounded out the top five for number of seizures.
Intellectual property rights enforcement has been a CBP priority since 2007.
“Protecting intellectual property rights is a critical part of CBP’s trade enforcement mission and critical to protecting American consumers,” R. Gil Kerlikowske, CBP commissioner, said in a statement. “In 2014, strong partnerships with our federal enforcement counterparts, effective targeting of high-risk shipments and frontline interceptions of cargo at America’s ports of entry produced more than 23,000 seizures of fake products worth an estimated $1.2 billion that could have cheated or threatened the health of American consumers.”
Related story: Apparel Tops List of 2014 Counterfeit Seizures