WASHINGTON — Federal officials made 7,922 seizures of counterfeit apparel and accessories — making it the top commodity classification — valued at $113.6 million, in fiscal year 2014, a year-end report released Thursday showed.
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The number of seizures was down 5 percent compared with fiscal year 2013, when officials snagged $116.1 million worth of bogus apparel and accessories, according to the report by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
“Protecting intellectual property rights is a critical part of CBP’s trade enforcement mission and critical to protecting American consumers,” said commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “In 2014, strong partnerships with our federal enforcement counterparts, effective targeting of high risk shipments and frontline interceptions of cargo at America’s ports of entry produced more than 23,000 seizures of fake products worth an estimated $1.2 billion that could have cheated or threatened the health of American consumers.”
The apparel and accessories segment includes clothing as well as hats and belts. In categories that are broken out separately, CBP and ICE officials seized $375.3 million worth of counterfeit watches and jewelry in the year. Officials also seized $342 million worth of fake handbags and wallets. Seizures of bogus footwear were valued at $49.5 million.
China continued to be the number-one source of counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 63 percent, or $772 million of the value seized. Hong Kong ranks second with $310 million or 25 percent.