In a previous post recognizing World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, we cited examples of where counterfeits are commonly emerging in the global consumer supply chain: medicines, vehicle equipment, household goods, children’s toys.
A particularly shocking report comes today from the UK, in which counterfeit wine and liquor are flooding the market, containing dangerous chemicals such as methanol, chloroform, bleach, nail polish remover and anti-freeze. According to the report, up to 2 dozen bottles of vodka were being produced every minute at one counterfeiting site.
And it’s not just occurring in the UK.
In the United States, federal agencies have stepped up to identify, intercept, and prosecute criminal activity attempting to import or manufacture fakes in the U.S. to protect innovators and consumers from the dangerous impact of counterfeits.
Some recent victories include:
- The seizure of counterfeit soccer apparel shipped from Hong Kong to Puerto Rico during the World Cup games;
- The sentencing of an owner of a Seattle-area technology supply company to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to traffic counterfeit Cisco cables; and
- Seizure of thousands of dollars worth of fake luxury handbags and shoes discovered during a routine traffic stop in Georgia, as well as at this South Carolina flea market.
At a 2013 IPI event, Dave Brener of U.S. Customs and Border Protection presented their aggressive plan to combat counterfeits in the supply chain, much of which partners with rights-holders to provide product authentication guides, officer training, and help make authentication CBP-friendly.
But counterfeits in the international supply chains are a great danger, and major organized criminal enterprises are now in the counterfeit business. It’s important to see a similar effort around the globe from other nations to protect their own citizens as well as their economies against the ravages of counterfeit and pirated goods.