U.S. Customs and Border Protection processes over 278 million cargo and parcel shipments from overseas each year. While the majority of these contain legal goods, a small percentage contain counterfeit items. Customs and border officers seized and destroyed some 34,143 shipments containing counterfeit items in the 2017 fiscal year. Thousands more shipments of counterfeit goods likely went undetected and made it into the United States.
The CBP seized 8.2% more shipments of counterfeit goods in 2017 compared to the year before, when it seized 31,560 shipments. However, the value of the counterfeit items seized was considerably less, dropping from $1.38 billion in 2016 to $1.21 billion in 2017.
Forgers from across the globe send falsified goods to the United States to undercut prices set by the companies that actually own the intellectual property rights of the items. Knockoff electronics, accessories, and clothing rake in millions of dollars each year.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the counterfeit items seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to determine America’s most counterfeited items.
Counterfeit items are almost all luxury goods like watches, jewelry, electronics, and accessories. People are often duped into buying counterfeit versions of name brand goods when they see a deal that seems too good to be true. Some bogus items can actually be dangerous.
Pharmaceuticals are among the most counterfeited items. Counterfeit medicine can often contain incorrect dosages or even completely lack the active ingredient that makes the genuine drug effective. In the past, automobile parts have ranked among the most counterfeited items. These fabricated car parts often do not meet the safety standards that regulated and inspected products must adhere to, leading to unsafe conditions on the road.