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Optical media, labels/tags, pharmaceuticals and footwear are on the list of the 9 most counterfeited products.
According to a report by USA Today, with analysis from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, counterfeit products may cost the global economy up to $250 billion a year.
"While government agencies do their best to crack down on counterfeit goods, they only manage to catch a fraction of the fake products that enter the United States. Still, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) values that seized fraction at staggering amounts. The value of counterfeit goods seized rose by 38.1% in 2013, from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $1.7 billion last year.
Based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the genuine versions of the counterfeit goods, some of the most valuable imitations were of handbags and wallets, watches and jewelry, and consumer electronics," USA Today said. It eviewed the nine most counterfeit items seized in 2013, based on their retail value.
9. Optical Media
The number of shipments of counterfeit optical media products, such as games, DVDs and CDs, the CBP seized fell to 1,409 last year from 2,892 in 2012. The value of the seized counterfeit optical media products fell by 30% from $38.4 million in 2012 to $26.8 million in 2013, USA Today said.
The number of counterfeit labels — trademarked logos and hang tags that are not attached to products — seized in 2013 was effectively unchanged from 2012. The value of these seizures, however, increased more dramatically than of all but two other products. Last year, the market value of counterfeit labels seized rose by 59% to $41.8 million, USA Today said.
Slightly more than 1,000 shipments of computers and accessories were seized in 2013. The counterfeit computer seizures accounted for 4% of all counterfeit seizures and for 3% of the total value of all counterfeit goods seized.
CBP agents reported 1,683 seizures of contraband footwear in 2013, 214 less seizures than in the year before. The value of these seizures dropped by nearly 47% in 2013, from $103.4 million in 2012, USA Today said.
5. Pharmaceuticals/Personal Care
CBP agents seized nearly $80 million worth of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and personal care products last year. This was 4% lower from the nearly $83 million of such shipments seized in 2012, and down 44% from $142 million in 2011, USA Today said.
4. Wearing Apparel/Accessories
Last year, the United States seized almost 10,000 shipments of counterfeit apparel and accessories, by far the most of any commodity and up 26.8% from the year before. In all, more than $116 million worth of such items were seized.
3. Consumer Electronics Products
The dollar amount of counterfeit consumer electronics products seized rose by 40% in 2013, to $145.9 million from $104.4 million in 2012. Further, consumer electronics comprised 8% of the total value of items seized last year, making it the third most frequently seized fake product, said USA Today.
The value of seized imitation watches and jewelry grew by 168.9% between 2012 and 2013, considerably more than that of any other commodity. In total, the value of watches seized was more than half a billion dollars in 2013.
Handbags and wallets were again the most seized counterfeited product, by MSRP, in 2013, USA Today said. The roughly 2,200 shipments seized had a total MSRP of more than $700 million, accounting for 40% of the total value of all goods seized.