Seized counterfeits goods in US dip to $1.2bn in 2014

ICE/HSI agentThe latest figures from the US government indicate both the value and number of seized counterfeit goods fell in 2014 compared to the prior year.

There were 23,140 seizures last year, down 5 per cent on 2013, with the value of intercepted goods (at manufacturer’s suggested retail price [MSRP] - or the value of the goods had they been genuine) falling to $1.2bn from $1.7bn.

The latest figures from US Customs and Border Control (CBP) show enforcement actions resulted in 683 arrests and 461 convictions, roughly in line with the previous year.

In addition, 144 shipments of circumvention devices were seized for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and CBP enforced 44 exclusion orders in fiscal year 2014.

The top ten counterfeit commodities seized by MSRP were:

Notable trends last year included a 5 per cent increase in semiconductor seizures and a 64 per cent hike in intercepted counterfeit batteries, thanks to an increased enforcement focus.

China remained the source of most counterfeits - 63 per cent of the total by value and down from 68 per cent in 2013- followed by Hong Kong which once again accounted for 25 per cent.  Canada was ranked third despite being the country of origin for just 1 per cent of total seizures; it did not feature in last year's list of top source countries.

"These results are a testament to the efforts of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, and the increased collaboration fostered by the IPR Center,” said IImmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Sarah Saldaña.

"To be clear, intellectual property theft is not a victimless crime. The victims are American businesses, and the employees whose jobs are dependent on IP-intensive industries. Counterfeiting is a crime of global proportions, and when property rights are violated, American jobs are lost, business profits are stolen and ultimately, consumers are cheated."

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