Producers of counterfeit goods make profits of hundreds of millions of dollars every year and the sales make for up to 7 percent of all global trade. In just the United States, counterfeit goods that were caught being smuggled in were valued at more than $260 million back in 2009. Some counterfeit products are caught during transit but a lot of them also manage to make it to the market and in turn in the hands of the customers. Below is a list of goods that have been seized the most number of times.
Counterfeit pharmaceuticals ranks at number 10 on this list with a 2010 domestic seizure value of $5.66 million. The good news however, is that this monetary value has fallen by 50% since 2009.
Jewelry is the ninth most counterfeited product that makes its way into the American market through illegal smuggling. The value of these products in 2010 was $6.76 million and this was estimated to be just 45 of total seizures.
Instances of fake watches being seized fell dramatically in 2010 compared to 2009. The value of counterfeit watches was $7.85 million in 2010. The brands which are being taken advantage of by crooks include Rolex and Swatch.
As if smoking was not bad enough for health and the environment, counterfeit cigarettes have been seized quite a few times and the value of those caught products have been estimated to be $8.85 million and this was in 2010 alone.
We know that the prices of electronics are high and it is unfortunate for the folks who cannot tell apart genuine and counterfeit products. The value of computers and other hardware seized has been quoted to be around $9.5 million.
Pirated DVDs and BluRay discs are such a common occurrence nowadays, even in the most developed countries, that one starts to wonder whether it is actually illegal to counterfeit media products. In 2010, CDs and DVDs worth $12.68 million were seized.
Designer handbags and wallets are known to be quite expensive and only the most extravagant of people can afford to buy the genuine products. However, counterfeit business has been on the rise and in 2010, these items valued at $15.42 million were seized.
Raids at different US ports in the year 2010 resulted in the seizure of counterfeit apparel worth $18.68 million and according to estimates made by authorities, only 10% of all incoming counterfeit apparel was seized. So you can imagine just how much of this stuff makes into the market and how much money is made by the makers.
2. Consumer Electronics
The counterfeiting of household consumer electronics has been on the rise in recent years and the equipment seized in 2010 was valued at $33.59 million. Fortunately it is easy to tell apart counterfeit electronics from genuine products.
This is the number one most counterfeited product in the American market with $45.75 million worth of fake goods being seized at different United States ports. However, the numbers compared to 2009 were smaller, which shows that authorities seem to be more effective on their jobs.