- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently confiscated 9,024 pairs of counterfeit Nike sneakers at the Port of New York / Newark, according to a press release from the agency. The shipment was inspected in late September and the CBP completed the seizure on Thursday. The goods are estimated to be worth $1.69 million.
- The footwear shipped from Dongguan City, China, and was on its way to Chino, California.
- CBP officers submitted photos of the sneakers to the agency's trade experts, the Apparel Footwear and Textiles Center for Excellence and Expertise, who then worked with trademark holders to determine that the products were counterfeit.
The same day CBP agents completed their seizure of a shipment of counterfeit Nike sneakers at the Port of New York / Newark, CBP's Executive Director of the Office of Trade Relations, Bradley Hayes, spoke in Washington, D.C. at a Congressional briefing on the government's anti-counterfeiting efforts.
"On a typical day at CBP we seize around $3.3 million worth of intellectual property rights violations," Hayes said. "Approximately 89% of these seizures take place in the international mail and express [mail] environments. These numbers are mind-boggling and mind-blowing."
The briefing, which also included representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Crime Prevention Council, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and the Consumer Product Safety Commision, stressed the importance the U.S. government puts on stopping counterfeits in order to protect consumers and retailers.
Corporations, too, are increasingly making moves to prevent counterfeit items from entering supply chains while simultaneously stressing the importance of product authentication. In June, four companies including Amazon and eBay signed a Product Safety Pledge to commit to a faster removal of "dangerous products" from their listings. This month eBay expanded authentication services on luxury jewelry and watches, and new technology is being employed by brands to prevent fraud.
Yet, even with the government and private business working to combat the growing threat of counterfeits, the underground industry shows no signs of slowing down. It is estimated that fakes will reach $1 trillion in sales by 2020, according to the International Trademark Association.
And the fakes are getting better, Hayes noted. Counterfeits are "impacting everyone. Small, medium, large businesses like….It's a big hit to retail and all those who manufacture and make the goods that we buy if we aren't able to get in there and stop this problem."