US customs seize counterfeit goods totalling $1 billion


US border officials carried out more than 24,000 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods valued at more than $1 billion in total in the 12 months to October 2013, official figures show.

The data were released this week by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both of which are responsible for the enforcement of IP rights within the Department for Homeland Security (DHS).

The DHS said it averaged more than 66 seizures a day in the fiscal year ending October 1, 2013, with each haul having an average retail value of more than $70,000. The figures represent an increase of almost seven percent from the previous fiscal year’s total.

“Together with our partners, CBP continues to guard the nation’s borders against counterfeit products,” said CBP commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. 

“These products are not only unsafe and dangerous to consumers, but they also pose a threat to the economic security of our country,” Kerlikowske added.

Around 68 percent of all seizures were items imported from China. However, the DHS also stopped imports from countries including India, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

The DHS added that the National Intellectual Property Rights (NIPR) Center had continued its “In Our Sites” operation and had shut down or seized control of more than 1,400 websites trading in illicit goods.

The NIPR is a government-run programme that works in coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property. 

This article was first publushed on 26 March on World IP Review

Counterfeit, US Customs, DHS

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