Seizures of products infringing intellectual property rights rose nearly 25 per cent last year, according to US customs.
There were 28,865 seizures of shipments in fiscal 2015, an increase from 23,140 the prior year, and the value of these goods at manufacturers' suggested retail prices (MSRP) would have been over $1.35bn, a 10 per cent rise.
The annual report by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) team, found that once again China was the country of origin for the bulk of seizures, accounting for 49 per cent of the total.
Hong Kong came second with 34 per cent, while Singapore accounted for 5 per cent. Romania and Turkey were the only other countries cited in the report - accounting for 1 per cent apiece - while all other countries accounted for the remaining 11 per cent.
The top product categories in fiscal 2015 by number of seizures were:
- Apparel/accessories (6,232 seizures - 22 per cent)
- Consumer electronics (5,326 seizures - 18 per cent)
- Footwear (2,818 seizures - 10%)
- Watches/jewelry (2,754 seizures - 10 per cent)
- Pharma and personal care (2,301 seizures - 8 per cent)
- Handbags/wallets (2,149 seizures - 7 per cent)
- Optical media (1,442 seizures - 5 per cent)
- Computers/accessories (846 seizures - 3 per cent)
- Labels/tags (550 seizures - 2 per cent)
- Toys (391 seizures - 1 per cent)
- All other products (4,056 seizures - 14 per cent)
The top product categories in fiscal 2015 by total seized value were:
- Watches/Jewelry ($581m - 43 per cent)
- Handbags/Wallets ($208m - 15 per cent)
- Wearing Apparel/Accessories ($157m - 12 per cent)
- Consumer Electronics ($132m - 10 per cent)
- Pharmaceuticals/Personal Care ($75m - 6 per cent)
- Footwear ($65m - 5 per cent)
- Computers/Accessories ($38m 3 per cent)
- Labels/Tags ($33m - 2 per cent)
- Optical Media ($33m - 2 per cent)
- Toys ($10m - <1 per cent)
- All Other Products ($20m - 1 per cent)
"CBP’s frontline interdictions, steadfast targeting, and close collaboration with ICE and other law enforcement agencies produced a record number of seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods,” said the agency's Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske.
"The large increase in the number of IPR seizures reflects the hard work and dedication of our people across the country every day."
Tactical interagency collaboration with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) resulted in 538 arrests, with 339 indictments, and 357 convictions, according to the report.