OF COUNTERFEIT PRODUCT & REPLICA PROBLEMS
"Perhaps most troubling is the widespread threat counterfeiting
poses to public health and safety. Few Americans truly
appreciate the significance, scope or consequences for this
Orin Hatch (R-Utah), 1995
Product Counterfeiting is Big Business:
Losses to U.S. business from
the counterfeiting of trademarked consumer products is estimated at
$200 billion a year according to the Department of Commerce.
Often the consumer thinks of pirate computer software, fake Rolex
watches, replica Oakley sunglasses and the like as the
primary counterfeit goods being offered to the consumer. This
is not the case.
Counterfeit goods include auto parts, aircraft parts, baby
formula, apparel, purses, jewelry, shampoo, cosmetics, sunglasses,
software, medical devices, consumer drugs and medicines and food
products. . . and more.
Counterfeit Sales on Criminal
Web sites engaging in criminal counterfeit sales activity are
numerous and generally can be immediately recognized by the posting
of the fictitious Internet Privacy Act. Click
here for more information on this act.
Safety Concerns Involving Counterfeit Products:
It can be unnerving boarding
a commercial airliner, knowing that the odds are good that the
aircraft has at least a few counterfeit parts in it. Airliners
and helicopters have crashed due to such spurious components.
In one crash alone, 68 people died. Counterfeit auto
parts--notably brake pads--have also caused deaths.
Counterfeit shampoo has caused hair loss, counterfeit stomach
medicine has caused ulcers and counterfeit toys and baby foods have
caused serious problems for children. Counterfeit clothing is
generally quite shoddy and "replica" kids clothing usually
is not flame retardant and can present a fire hazard.
Likewise, counterfeit sunglasses are generally not shatterproof and
often have no ultraviolet protection.
Counterfeiting Costs Americans Jobs:
The sale of
"replica" watches do, of course, cost some American
jobs. However, the problem is worse with counterfeit auto
parts. The U. S. Department of Commerce has estimated that the
auto industry could employ 210,000 new workers, if the cost of
counterfeit products could be eliminated.
Benefits Organized Crime and Terrorists:
The FBI believes the 1993 New
York World Trade Center Bombing was financed by counterfeit T-shirts
and sports apparel. In July of 2003, Interpol Officials
testified in Congress that product counterfeiting is one of the
funding methods of Al Quada and Hezbollah. Product
counterfeiting frequently plays a part in the laundering of drug
Tax Avoidance by
In many cases, counterfeiters
do not charge customers sales tax, or charge the tax, but retain
it. Additionally, many counterfeiters pay only a fraction of
their true income tax liability, if they pay any at all. This
shortage, of course, is made up by the rest of us.
Michigan Area Trade
Centers that Prohibit Counterfeit Products:
Obviously, management at
trade centers and flea markets cannot always distinguish counterfeit
goods. However, management at the following trade centers have
assisted investigators and law enforcement in the past and do their
best to protect their customers by banning the sale of counterfeit
Armada Flea Market,
Trufant Flea Market, Trufant, MI
Jack Loek's Flea Market, Wyoming, MI
Shipshawana Flea Market, Shipshawana, IN
Gibraltar Trade Centers, Taylor, MI & Mt. Clemens, MI