Counterfeit Seizures Down Slightly in 2012

Federal officials made 7,800 seizures of counterfeit apparel valued at $133 million last year, a report released Thursday showed.

WASHINGTON — Federal officials made 7,800 seizures of counterfeit apparel valued at $133 million in fiscal year 2012, a year-end report released Thursday showed.

The number of counterfeit apparel seizures was down slightly from 8,094 valued at $142.3 million in fiscal year 2011, according to the report by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Counterfeit-apparel seizures represented 11 percent of the total value of $1.26 billion seized in the fiscal year.

Customs and ICE officials seized $511.2 million worth of bogus handbags and wallets in the fiscal year, representing 40 percent of the overall seizures by value, and $186.9 million worth of counterfeit watches and jewelry, representing 15 percent of the total value.

Seizures of bogus footwear were valued at $103.3 million, representing 8 percent of the total value.

China continued to be the number-one source of counterfeit and pirated goods seized, accounting for 72 percent, or $906 million of the value seized.

“As online commerce continues to expand, we are seeing more international criminal organizations exploiting cyberspace to further their criminal enterprises. Web sites are increasingly the front end or entry point for consumers, businesses and criminal organizations to the international supply chain,” said Lev Kubiak, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Center. “Attacking criminal activity at every point along the international supply chain, to include Web sites, manufacturers, shippers and shipping routes, border entry points, distribution networks and payment methods, is critical to CBP and HSI’s enforcement efforts.”

Federal officials seized 22,848 shipments and took down 697 Web sites involved in trafficking counterfeit goods.