9 March 2018Trademarks

Counterfeit goods entering US rise 8% in 2017

The number of seized items infringing IP rights in the US increased by 8% in 2017 year on year.

The statistics,  published by the US Customs and Border Protection ( CBP) on March 5, showed that the number rose from 31,560 for the 2016 fiscal year to 34,143 in 2017.

US Immigration and Customs  Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments and received 242 convictions related to IP crimes in 2017.

“Each year, more than 11 million maritime containers arrive at our seaports,” said the report.

“At our land borders, another 10 million arrive by truck and three million arrive by rail. An additional quarter billion more cargo, postal, and express consignment packages arrive through air travel.”

The total number of IP border enforcement actions in 2017 increased by 12% when compared with the previous year, according to the report.

CBP’s Integrated Trade Targeting Network conducted 12 national level IP-mitigating trade operations last year. The operations targeted shipments at seaports, airports and international mail facilities and express carrier hubs across the country.

The operations resulted in 1,845 seizures of IP-infringing goods. If genuine, the seizures would accumulate to an estimated retail price of $44 million.

Apparel and accessories made up 15% (5,223 items) of the goods seized last year, followed by watches and jewellery (4,297 items) at 13%.

Footwear and consumer electronics both made up 12%, while consumer products accounted for 11% and handbags and wallets made up 10%.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products contributed towards 6% of all seizures.

Other categories included optical media, computers and accessories, and toys.

In total, $1.2 billion worth of items was seized during the course of the year based on an estimated retail price.

Seized watches and jewellery were valued at $460 million—the highest contributing category towards this figure—followed by handbags and wallets ($234 million), and then consumer electronics ($85 million).

China and Hong Kong were the leading sources of the counterfeits.

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump  tweeted: “The US is acting swiftly on IP theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years.”

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