U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), on February 17, 2013, announced the results of ongoing efforts to protect America from the trade of counterfeit and pirated goods during fiscal year 2012 in the annual Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Fiscal Year 2012 Seizure Statistics Report.
“In Fiscal Year 2012, CBP protected American consumers from being defrauded and injured by products made with stolen intellectual property,” said CBP Assistant Commissioner for International Trade Al Gina. “In addition to all other aspects of border security, CBP aggressively targets IPR violators to keep these goods from entering the U.S. Our partnership with HSI safeguards our economy and businesses across the U.S.”
“As online commerce continues to expand, we are seeing more international criminal organizations exploiting cyberspace to further their criminal enterprises. Internet websites are increasingly the front end or entry point for consumers, businesses and criminal organizations to the international supply chain” said Lev Kubiak, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Center. “Attacking criminal activity at every point along the international supply chain, to include websites, manufacturers, shippers and shipping routes, border entry points, distribution networks and payment methods, is critical to CBP and HSI’s enforcement efforts.”
Key IPR enforcement results from FY2012 include:
- The seizure of 22,848 shipments and 697 websites involved in trafficking these goods. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the seized shipments rose to $1.26 billion.
- Operation Chain Reaction, an Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) operation designed to prevent counterfeit items from entering U.S. government supply chains. To date, Chain Reaction has led to 24 arrests, 36 indictments, 26 convictions and the seizure of more than $9.83 million in counterfeit electronics, currency and vehicle parts.
- China continues to be the number one source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized, accounting for 72 percent, or $906 million, of the total MSRP.
- Handbags and wallets were the top commodity seized. The MSRP for these seizures increased 142.2 percent from fiscal year 2011.
Many counterfeit goods threaten the health and safety of American consumers and our economic and national security. CBP and HSI continued to step up enforcement against these dangerous products, and the resulting seizures help keep consumers safe.
CBP and HSI protect businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive IPR enforcement program. CBP targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods, and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR violative goods.
The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.
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