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Hong Kong main funnel of IP infringing goods to US and EU: study

HONG KONG is the main source of intellectual property (IP) violations while mainland China is main source of infringing goods, according to the EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights study, an initiative of the European Commission

21 January 2021 - 19:00
HONG KONG is the main source of intellectual property (IP) violations while mainland China is main source of infringing goods, according to the EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights study, an initiative of the European Commission.

'Hong Kong plays a strategic role. Not as a direct source of IP infringing products, but as a jump off point for these goods to reach other markets. This means that the global supply of infringing goods may be cut-off in Hong Kong if the right actions are taken,' the report said.



These goods include watches, mobile phones and accessories, ink cartridges and toners and CDs/DVDs, reports London's Lexology legal news portal.



Hong Kong is the source of 9.43 per cent of infringing goods entering the EU, while mainland China remains the preeminent source of infringing goods at 50.55 per cent, said the report.



The statistics are even higher when it comes to counterfeit goods entering the United States. 'In the fiscal year 2019, around 66 per cent of the counterfeit products seized due to IP rights infringement in the US originated from China, with Hong Kong then being the second highest source at 26 per cent, said the report.



A survey of the US Customs and Border Protection intellectual property rights seizure statistics reveals that from 2014-2019, mainland China remains the biggest source of infringing goods in the United States with Hong Kong following a close second.



Data suggests Hong Kong is being used as a transshipment hub for counterfeit goods originating in mainland China, before the goods are then shipped to end user countries such as the US and EU.



The EU data indicates that almost 71.2 per cent of the counterfeit goods entering Hong Kong from mainland China are coming from the Pearl River Delta. This suggests large volumes of counterfeit goods are likely being sent directly from factories in the surrounding provinces straight into Hong Kong for shipment out to the world.



'In looking at the achievements of Hong Kong Customs & Excise department in intellectual property enforcement, we have reviewed and analysed the various press releases that have been issued by the HKC&E for the period of 2014 to 2019. From the information provided, we were able to chart the total seizure values of the detained commodities,' said Lexology of the findings of EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.



'Most of these goods are clothing, footwear, mobile phones and accessories, and other fashion accessories which have likely originated from China, to then be exported to the United States or Europe.



There are a number of trade mark infringement seizure cases conducted by Hong Kong Customs on cross-boundary goods, ie, goods seized from different entry or exit points in Hong Kong including airport, container terminals, etc, originating from mainland China, said the report.


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