Three Indian markets in three cities, three online markets figure in Notorious Markets List of US

China accounted for 60 per cent of the value of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by the US Customs

Published - January 30, 2024 04:46 pm IST

Three Indian markets in three cities, including one in New Delhi, and three online markets have figured in the annual notorious market list of the US Trade Representatives released on January 30, in which China continues on the number one spot.

The 2023 Notorious Markets List identifies 39 online markets and 33 physical markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. Heera Panna market in Mumbai, Tank Road market in Karol Bagh in New Delhi, and Sadar Patrappa Road market in Bengaluru are named on the list. Among the online Indian markets that figure in the list are IndiaMart, Vegamovies, and WHMCS Smarters.

“The trade in counterfeit and pirated goods harms workers, consumers, and small businesses, and ultimately hurts the US economy,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. “This year’s Notorious Markets List is significant because it underscores the potential dangers of counterfeit goods and why robust enforcement to combat trade in these goods is important to growing our economy from the middle out and the bottom up,” she said.

The identified 39 online markets and 33 physical markets are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy, The 2023 Notorious Markets List said. This includes continuing to identify the China-based e-commerce and social commerce markets Taobao, WeChat, DHGate, and Pinduoduo, as well as the cloud storage service Baidu Wangpan. Other listed markets include seven physical markets in China known for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.

USTR first identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report in 2006. Since February 2011, USTR has published annually the Notorious Markets List separately from the Special 301 Report, to increase public awareness and help market operators and governments prioritize intellectual property enforcement efforts that protect US workers and businesses.

China is the major source of counterfeit products

The report says that China continues to be the number one source of counterfeit products in the world. Counterfeit and pirated goods from China, together with trans-shipped goods from China to Hong Kong, accounted for 60 per cent of the value (measured by manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2022.

With the end of Covid-19 restrictions, physical markets have experienced increased foot traffic and the return of counterfeit sales. Furthermore, sellers of counterfeit merchandise continue to use their brick-and-mortar storefronts as points of contact for customers, sites for “sample/product testing,” and centres for fulfilment of online sales. Enforcement authorities targeting counterfeit goods online often uncover links to vendors with a presence in physical markets.

“USTR encourages China to modify and expand the scope of robust enforcement actions to respond to the changing nature of counterfeit sales at physical markets, with a special focus on the following key markets,” said the report.

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