Forget smuggling drugs across the border, counterfeits are the new thing. $4.7 million in fake goods seized per day

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on March 28, 2014   News Tags: ,

Our southern border has tons of gaps and other spots to exploit if you wanted to come into this country. Just like our post on the gaps in EU customs, there are gaps in the US too if you want to being in counterfeit products easy. While drug smugglers are always finding new ways to get in from digging tunnels to using submarines, or in the future using drones, others are bringing illegal counterfeit products into the USA almost risk free.

This is a story you do not hear much.


In the year 2013, a total of $1.74 billion in counterfeit goods were seized. The agency averaged 66 seizures a day, with each having a retail value of $71,500. That totals around $4.7 million per day. For comparison, in 2012, the number totaled was $1.26 billion. And these statistics are just those who get caught. Who knows what the true amount of counterfeits being brought into the US via the US-Mexican border.

Made in China, exported to Mexico, imported to the US

The primary manufacturer for these goods is the same as every other counterfeit product. China’s market share was at 68% for goods seized at the border.

Why the increase from last year?

While not mentioned in the Customs and Borders press release for political reasons, the main reason for the increase is because organized crime in Mexico has seen a decrease in sales from Marijuana, which was their main source of revenue. Now that states are legalizing the plant, or at least setting up medical Marijuana laws, people are growing in the US, instead of importing from Mexican drug cartels.

Why bring counterfeit goods across the border?

Unless you are importing counterfeit drugs or something dangerous, border agents usually just seize the fake goods and send the car on its way. It is a very low risk crime, with almost no penalties if caught.

Leave a comment on what you think. If you were coming into the US from Mexico, would you bring some counterfeit products with you?

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