Counterfeited products in the United States seized by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) rose a staggering 38 percent from 2012 to 2013. According to the CBP, they seized approximately $1.7 billion in counterfeited products in 2013. The CBP admits they only catch a fraction of the counterfeited products that enter the United States each year. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that counterfeited products cost the world economy $250 billion per year. These are the most counterfeited products in America today, according to CBP.
HANDBAGS/WALLETS: Handbags and wallets made up 40 percent of all counterfeited products that were seized by the CBP in 2013. The CBP seized $700 million in shipments bound for the United States. According to CBP, most counterfeited handbags originated in China.
WATCHES/JEWELRY: The value of seized counterfeit watches and jewelry grew significantly from 2012 to 2013, according to CBP. The CBP indicated that there were 1,729 seizures valued at over $500 million in 2013. The Federation of Swiss Watch industry reported that 120,000 counterfeited watches were seized globally in 2013.
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS: CBP seized $146 million in counterfeited consumer electronics in 2013, rising from $104 million in 2012. Consumer electronics now make up the third most counterfeited products that were seized in 2013, according to CBP. The CBP reported that they seized 1,735 shipments during a two-month operation in 2013, eliminating 243,000 fake electronic products from the market.
WEARING APPAREL: The CBP seized nearly 10,000 shipments of counterfeit wearing apparel and accessories valued at more than $116 million. According to CBP, the exact type of product matters most. They noted that haute couture demands more than regular blue jeans. The CBP conducted Operation Red Zone, where it seized $17.3 million in counterfeit sportswear to coincide with 2013 Super Bowl.
PHARMACEUTICALS: CBP seized over $80 million in counterfeit pharmaceutical products last year. This was a decrease from 2012. The CBP notes that the decrease is a result of international efforts to end the sale of fake prescription drugs. Most of the fake prescriptions drugs originated in India and China, according to CBP.
FOOTWEAR: CBT reported 1,683 seizures of counterfeit footwear in 2013. The value of seizures declined nearly 47 present in 2013. CBP believes that have managed to stem the tide of container loads of counterfeit shoes entering the United States. This is a great relief to Nike, whose brand is believed to be among the most counterfeited, according to CBP.
COMPUTERS/ACCESSORIES: CBP reported more than 1,000 seizures of computers and accessories in 2013. The CBP reported that accessories included integrated circuits, printer cartridges, semi-conductors and networking hardware. The seizures increased 37.5 percent in 2013, despite PC shipments declining globally during that time. The Semi-Conductor Industry Association said that counterfeit semi-conductors pose a danger to medical products and everyday household appliances.
LABELS/TAGS: CBP reports the seizures of counterfeit labels, which consist of trademark logos and hang tags was unchanged from 2012. They did report the value of these items did increase. The CBP reports that counterfeiters smuggle the fake labels and fake products separately.
OPTICAL MEDIA: The CBP reported a significant drop in seizures of counterfeit optical media products in 2013. Optical media products consist of DVD’s, games and CD’s according to CBP. As a result, counterfeit optical media products have dropped near the bottom of America’s most counterfeited products list. CBP notes that the piracy has shifted towards online websites and downloads.
By John J. Poltonowicz