Government Cracking Down on Counterfeit Ecommerce Products

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Behind the most commonly counterfeited classifications of clothing, accessories, footwear, watches and fashion jewelry, bags and wallets represented almost 11% of all seizures, including high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Gucci. Customer electronic devices represented 10% of seizures, consisting of items such as iPhones, hover boards, others, earbuds and microchips.

  • Ensure Entities with Financial Interests in Imports Bear Responsibility
  • Boost Scrutiny of Section 321 Environment
  • Suspend and Debar Repeat Offenders; Act Against Non-Compliant International Posts
  • Apply Civil Fines, Penalties and Injunctive Actions for Violative Imported Products
  • Leverage Advance Electronic Data for Mail Mod
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Consortium to Identify Online Nefarious Actors (ACTION) Plan
  • Analyze Enforcement Resources
  • Develop Modernized Ecommerce Enforcement Framework
  • Evaluate Contributory Trademark Infringement Liability for Platforms
  • Re-Examine the Legal Framework Surrounding Non-Resident Importers
  • Develop a National Consumer Awareness Campaign

Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches are the most common symbols of the problem, and government seizure statistics from FY 2018 show clothing and other kinds of accessories, along with shoes, topped the list at 18% and 14% of seizures, respectively.

“We already have programs and procedures that go well beyond our responsibilities under U.S. law,” an Amazon spokesperson told the WSJ. “This year we will start reporting all verified counterfeiters obstructed from our shops to police entities so they can develop cases versus these bad actors.”

“Government action alone is inadequate to cause the needed paradigm shift and eventually stem the tide of fake and pirated products,” the report said in using a list of finest practices for ecommerce platforms and third-party marketplaces:

“The President’s historic memorandum supplies a much called for and long overdue call to action in the U.S. Government’s fight against an enormous type of illicit trade that is inflicting substantial harm on American consumers and companies,” DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in the report.

A Walmart spokesman told the WSJ the seller uses “choose sellers in our market, all of which we’ve carefully vetted” and that the products reported as fake make up “a very small fraction of less than 1% of total items available for sale on Walmart.com.”

“Despite public and personal efforts to date, the online availability of counterfeit and pirated products continues to increase,” the report said, issuing a series of actions to be taken right away:

Between 2017 and 2018, CBP and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took over $31 million in fake fragrances from China, the report kept in mind.

Nike and Adidas shoes and NFL jerseys were the most typically counterfeited products in the category. Watches and fashion jewelry follow at 13% of overall seizures. During the federal government’s Mega Flex operation last August, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers took counterfeit Rolex watches valued at over $1.4 million, the report stated.

The U.S. federal government is moving to punish the sale of fake ecommerce items and pirated goods, warning of stricter rules and charges for participants in a rogue economy that was valued at $509 billion in 2016.

  • Comprehensive “Terms of Service” Agreements
  • Significantly Enhanced Vetting of Third-Party Sellers
  • Limitations on High Risk Products
  • Fast Notice and Takedown Procedures
  • Boosted Post-Discovery Actions
  • Indemnity Requirements for Foreign Sellers
  • Clear Transactions Through Banks that Comply with U.S. Enforcement Requests for Information (RFI)
  • Pre-Sale Identification of Third-Party Sellers
  • Establish Marketplace Seller ID
  • Plainly Identifiable Country of Origin Disclosures

“This is not about any one ecommerce platform– this has to do with ecommerce playing by a various set of guidelines that all at once hammer brick-and-mortar sellers, defraud customers, penalize employees and swindle intellectual home rights holders,” White House trade consultant Peter Navarro informed the Wall Street Journal. “It’s Amazon, Shopify, Alibaba, eBay, JD.com, Walmart.com and a constellation of lower players that supply the digital centers.”

While pharmaceuticals and individual care items accounted for just 7% of total seizures, the government report stated, “Fake prescription drugs can lack active ingredients, consist of inaccurate dosages, or consist of harmful additives. Phony personal care items such as cosmetics have actually been discovered to contain everything from damaging germs to human waste.”

According to the DHS report, seizures of fake and counterfeit products by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) increased from 6,500 to 33,810 from 2003 through 2018. The domestic worth of seized product in regards to MSRP increased from $94 million in 2003 to $1.4 billion in 2018, the report said.

A Jan. 24 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report revealing the crackdown can be found in reaction to an April 2019 memorandum from President Trump on combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.


Nike and Adidas footwear and NFL jerseys were the most typically counterfeited items in the classification. Watches and precious jewelry follow at 13% of overall seizures. According to the DHS report, seizures of counterfeit and fake goods by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) increased from 6,500 to 33,810 from 2003 through 2018. Behind the most commonly counterfeited classifications of apparel, accessories, footwear, watches and jewelry, handbags and wallets represented almost 11% of all seizures, consisting of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Gucci. While pharmaceuticals and individual care items accounted for only 7% of total seizures, the government report said, “Fake prescription drugs can do not have active ingredients, include incorrect dosages, or include harmful ingredients.

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