CBP, ICE Release Report on 2010 Counterfeit Seizures
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced today that during fiscal year 2010 efforts to reduce the trade in stolen intellectual property yielded 19,959 seizures, a 34 percent increase over 2009 numbers.
Seizures of products that could have harmed consumers, vital infrastructure and national security soared 97 percent over the previous year, and accounted for 23 percent of all intellectual property rights seizures by domestic value.
The total domestic value of the fake goods seized in fiscal year 2010 totaled $188.1 million, the estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price, the value the goods would have had if they had been genuine totaled $1.4 billion.
"The risks of counterfeit products go beyond damaging the reputation of a name on a label; consumers can put their health, or even their lives, at risk when they purchase seemingly harmless items such as medicines, perfume and holiday lights," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "Ultimately, the cost of purchasing a fake product is much greater than the savings and may result in catastrophic consequences."
"Fiscal year 2010 was a very successful year for the ICE-led Intellectual Property Coordination Center and our law enforcement partners," said ICE Director John T. Morton. "The protection of intellectual property is a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations, as counterfeit products represent a triple threat by delivering shoddy and sometimes dangerous, goods into commerce, by funding organized criminal activities and by denying Americans good-paying jobs."
Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods poses significant threats to the United States innovation-based economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and in some cases, national security and the health and safety of consumers.
China continues to be the number one source country for counterfeit and pirated goods seized, accounting for 66 percent or $124.6 million of the total domestic value of seizures.
For the fifth year in a row, footwear was the top product seized, accounting for more than 24 percent of the entire domestic value of rights-infringing goods.
The top 10 categories of intellectual property rights-infringing products seized were footwear, consumer electronics, wearing apparel, handbags/wallets, optical media, computers/hardware, cigarettes, watches/parts, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals.
As the federal agency responsible for the management, control and protection of U.S. borders, CBP is on the frontline of IPR enforcement. The men and women of CBP protect the nation's economy, the safety of its people, and our national security against harm from counterfeit and pirated goods.
The largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products. ICE focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off the nation's streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind such illicit activity.