Counterfeit Goods Seizures Total Nearly 15,000 in 2009

China remains the top country of origin for counterfeit and pirated goods, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Fiscal 2009 was a busy one for the U.S. government agencies charged with keeping counterfeit goods outside the countrys borders. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 14,841 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods for the fiscal year, according to the agencies' annual report. The domestic value of the goods was $260.7 million. (Domestic value is the cost of making the illegal goods in a foreign country, plus the shipping and other costs required to bring the merchandise in to the U.S.)

The value of the 2009 seizures was down slightly from the $272.7 million announced for fiscal 2008, with the number of seizures down 1%.

China remained the top country of origin for counterfeit and pirated goods, the annual report showed, accounting for 79% of the total seizure value. Hong Kong was No. 2, accounting for 10% of the domestic value.

Footwear remained the leading product seized, as it has been in the past three years. It accounted for 38% of all counterfeit and pirated goods by domestic value. Other goods appearing in the top categories for counterfeiting were consumer electronics, computers/hardware, pharmaceuticals and wearing apparel. India, which was the third leading country of origin for counterfeit or pirated goods at 1%, was responsible for 86% of counterfeit pharmaceuticals seized in fiscal 2009.

The most recent seizures announced by the Customs agencies occurred in mid-November at a San Diego port, where officers discovered counterfeit Barbie dolls with a domestic value of $2,975 and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of nearly $24,000. Counterfeit Jeep toys with a domestic value of more than $554,000 were seized in late October.

To view the full annual report, go to Fiscal 2009 Seizure Statistics. This is a PDF.

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