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Counterfeit Trade Estimated To Be Worth $461 Billion A Year

Apr 19, 2016 04:17 PM EDT
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Counterfeit bags for sale on Canal Street in New York City on June 13, 2013
(Photo : Getty Images/Spencer Platt ) Counterfeit bags for sale on Canal Street in New York City on June 13, 2013

In 2013, counterfeit goods worth more than €461 billion (about $524 billion at current exchange) were sold across the world, according to a a report Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union's Intellectual Property Office

The study looked at half a million customs seizures from around the world over the period 2011 to 2013. according to WWD. It estimated that, in 2013, up to 5 percent of goods imported into the European Union in 2013 were fakes. The accessories were worth about €85 billion (or $116 billion). 

Additionally, the report stated that the most frequently seized counterfeit goods included footwear, apparel, articles of leather, electrical machinery, watches and medical instruments. About 20 percent of the products seized were because of intellectual property rights holders registered in the U.S.

Around 63 percent of global seizures stemmed from China. 

Back in August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than 2,300 counterfeit Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags that arrived at the Miami Seaport in a shipment from China. According to WWD, the haul is valued at over $1 million. 

"This seizure is a perfect example of our CBP officers and import specialists' commitment to preventing counterfeit goods from entering the commerce of the United States," Acting Miami Seaport director Kenneth Haefner told the trade publication.

The month before, thousands of counterfeit Hermès belts — with an estimated retail value of $3.23 million — were also seized by CBP officers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex. 

"Counterfeit products are increasingly of a higher quality, making consumers easily deceived by fakes that look and feel real, Carlos Martel, CBP port director of the West Coast complex. 

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