SFIA Assists Senate in Online Counterfeit Inquiry
Today, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee regarding issues the industry is currently facing with internet sales of counterfeit products. These counterfeit goods cost the U.S. economy $41 billion annually, which has led to heightened interest from the U.S. Senate. As the Senate explores ways of addressing the online counterfeit problem, they sought input from various market sectors commonly targeted by fake products. SFIA provided information on efforts in the sporting goods sector to reduce the flow of counterfeit products into the United States to limit the negative economic impact.
SFIA comments focused on the industry’s overall knowledge of counterfeiting, best practices for combatting the issue and the economic impact of fake products. Apparel continues to be the industry’s most targeted product by counterfeiters, and China is the biggest producer of counterfeit products, providing 85 percent of counterfeit goods entering the U.S. SFIA also shared its partnership with SURYS, a leader in brand protection, to provide our members with access to the latest physical and digital technologies to deter counterfeiters and give consumers confidence in the authenticity of their purchase.
The country is facing a major problem — Many of these fake products purchased online are imported to the U.S. in single shipments, avoiding the scrutiny of large shipments at port-of-entry. Customs and Border Patrol do not have the resources to inspect every package, leaving many of these shipments of counterfeit goods overlooked. SFIA shared industry efforts to identify and take down the counterfeit operation at the source, usually in China, as one method to reduce the flow; but that is not an option for small and mid-size manufacturers who need alternative ways to protect their brand.
SFIA will continue to raise awareness of the counterfeit problem with its members and provide them with the tools needed for an online, and physical, security plan to protect their products and track them throughout the supply chain.