Each year, American companies spend millions and even billions of dollars in research and development in order to create innovative and unique products. America is home to the most Fortune 100 companies in the world. It is where the Silicon Valley is located and much more. Investment in research and development is what has led to America becoming the number 1 economy in the world.
There are countless new products that are launched by American companies every year. Some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, car manufacturers, smartphone developers, app developers, fashion houses, media labels and much more are located in the land where dreams come true. This post looks at America’s most counterfeited products.
Toys are considered to be one of the most counterfeited products in the United States. According to various statistics, there have been about 449 seizures in the financial year 2017 alone. The percentage of the total seizures is 1.3% and the value of the seized goods is a whopping $12,128,156. America is leading the way when it comes to counterfeited toys.
- Computers/ Accessories
Since, the most computer-related technology and accessories are developed in the United States. It is obvious that they would be one of the most counterfeited products. The counterfeiters have managed to smuggle millions of dollars worth of accessories and computers into America. Due to rising cost of computers, there are many smuggles that continue to illegally import fake computers and accessories into the country. Although, the number of seizures has dropped, it is believed that millions of dollars worth of computers continue to be smuggled into the country. This puts companies at a disadvantage and reduces competitiveness.
- Optical Media
In the financial year of 2017, there had been 809 seizures of optical media in the United States according to reports and the percentage of the total seizures is 2.4%. The value of the seized goods is about $27,573,775 and there are, millions of dollars worth of optical media that have not been confiscated or reported. The CBP continues to play an integral role is seizing shipments that contain falsified items such as video games, Blue-Rays, and DVDs. This puts the optical media industry at risk as the fake items stifle competition.
The American pharmaceutical industry is one of the most heavily-regulated in the world. Although, most of the fake products that are smuggled into the United States are rather harmless luxury products such as entertainment, fashion accessories or related items, but when it comes to counterfeit pharmaceuticals, they are relatively dangerous. The seizures in the Financial Year 2017 had been 2,209 and the percentage of the total seizures had been 6.5%. The value of the seized goods is about $69,758,720 which is one of the highest.
Inauthentic drugs which are not as effective as regular medicine tends to be ineffective and can even put the life or health of the individual at risk. Some of the counterfeit drugs do not even have the correct dosage written on them and might even lack the active ingredients which make the medicine effective. Personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics have also been seized.
- Wallets/ Handbags
Even though, wallets or handbags might seem harmless, but they have accounted for just a little over 10% of the seizures by CBP in 2017 alone. The items that have been seized have a worth of over $234 million if they are genuine.
Fake luxury goods such as Louis Vuitton replica are made overseas to easily replicate the designer and high-end products and get sold for a lower price, while hurting the companies that design them. Furthermore, these items are made from lower-grade materials and lack the quality and durability of the genuine products. About 3,266 shipments of counterfeited wallets and handbags had been seized by the CBP in the financial year 2017. There has been a steady increase in the number of counterfeited products being seized.
- Consumer Products
It is relatively a new category for seized counterfeit items. Some of the items that are included in this category include light fixtures, electronics accessories, drinking glasses and similar items. About 3,912 seizures had been made by the CBP in 2017. The percentage of the total seizures has been 11.5% and that value of the seized products has been about $46,265,355. Although, these items are relatively inexpensive, they are still one of the most smuggled. They are easy to smuggle into the United States which is why there has been a rise in the number of consumer products being smuggled into the country.
- Consumer Electronics
Next on the list are consumer electronics. These are essentially any electronic device which is intended for home or personal use, and includes TVs, phones, grooming products and kitchen appliances, as well similar products. The number of seizures made in the financial year 2017 had been 4,137 according to statistics and the percentage of the total seizures had been 12.1%. The value of the seized products was $85,115,639. There is a huge market for consumer electronics in the United States for counterfeiters. Many American homes even own several of such products. Most of the seizures have been made in a joint operation between the CBP and the General Administration of China Customs.
Since the year 2014, there have been more and more seizures of counterfeit footwear in the United States. In the financial year of 2017, about 4,224 seizures had been made and the percentage of total seizures stood at 12.3%. The value of the seized goods was around $41,490,429 according to official reports by the CBP. Less than 1,300 intercepted shipments have been seized by the CBP as they contained bogus shoes in 2014 and the number continues to grow since then.
- Jewelry / Watches
Although, jewelry and watches were not the most commonly seized items for the year 2017, they were of the highest market value. In the financial year of 2017, the seizures made for this category were about 4,297 according to official reports by the CBP.
The percentage of total seizures stood at 12.6% for that year and the value of the seized goods was a whopping $460,162,145 which is more than many of the categories combined. Each of the intercepted shipment had at least an average worth of $107,089. This category of counterfeited products continues to increase every year. Some of the most commonly counterfeited items include rings, watches and other jewelry as they are quite small but are expensive. This leads to the counterfeiters maximizing the value of the goods that had been smuggled in each of the shipments.
- Accessories and Wearing Apparel
The category of accessories and wearing apparel has topped the list of America’s most counterfeited products. In the financial year of 2017 alone, there had been 5,223 seizures by the CBP. The percentage of total seizures was a whopping 15.3% which is more than any category. However, the value of the seized goods was about $74,880,617 according to CBP official reports.
Fake clothing and accessories continue to be smuggled into the United States at a rapid rate. One of the main targets for counterfeiters is the Super Bowl. Since, accessories and wearing apparel are relatively easy to smuggle into the country, the number of counterfeit products entering the United States shows no stopping. Just like other countries in the world, accessories and wearing apparel, are the most smuggled item.
The United States of America has tough regulations which make it difficult for smugglers to bring in counterfeited products into the country. However, their network is very extensive and it is difficult to break this network. But, the CBP continues to play an active role in putting an end to counterfeited products entering the country.
The truth is that counterfeited products harm industries and America is one of the most competitive economies in the world which is why it is vital to prevent smugglers from bringing in counterfeited products. Offline mediums are not the only ones being used, there are online mediums as well such as for the media industry, software industry and even the adult industry. The regulations are being assessed and efforts are being taken to put a stop to this illegal activity. However, with the rise of globalization, smuggling of counterfeited products will continue to be a problem which major economies in the world would have to deal with.