Customs Officials Step Up Apprehension of Counterfeit items at the Border

Customs officials said they saw a 25 percent increase in the number of counterfeit goods they confiscated last year at the nation’s ports and at the border.

Clothing and accessories easily topped the list of counterfeit items, followed by consumer electronics and parts. By value, watches and jewelry were at the top of the chart.

China and Hong Kong were the top two sources for counterfeit items sent to the United States during fiscal 2015, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. Together they accounted for 87 percent of the value of the seizures. That was down from the 88 percent the two together represented in fiscal 2014.

China and Hong Kong also accounted for 83 percent of the total number of seizures made in fiscal 2015, which was up from 82 percent from the previous year. Singapore was No. 3 as a source of fake goods, followed by Romania and Turkey.

In fiscal 2015, counterfeit seizures jumped nearly 25 percent to 28,665 items, and the value of the goods confiscated rose 10 percent to $1.35 billion following a 30 percent drop in fiscal 2014 to $1.22 billion.

Customs officials also apprehended 550 shipments of labels and tags bearing counterfeit trademarks intended to be put on goods or clothing after they were brought into the country.

More than one-third of the items, or $496 million, was sent as cargo while another third, or $437 million, was sent through express consignment facilities.