Lots of people are familiar with the prevalence of counterfeit goods that come from Chinese manufacturers.

Some of the more well-known instances involve fashion and apparel products like designer handbags and watches, as well as small electronic devices such as MP3 players, phones, and DVDs.

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This type of misrepresentation is a frustrating and  costly problem for legitimate brand designers and manufacturers, but it goes far beyond deception.

Product integrity and consumer safety are now more easily compromised as counterfeiting has started to impact more and more items, from auto parts to toothpaste.

Questionable materials, lacking safety standards and production protocol, on top of of murky traceability, have amounted to real life dangers for consumers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other organizations are trying to fight this growing issue, but the challenges in doing so are getting tougher.

The Fight Get Tougher As Fakes Get Better 
According to reports, the primary reason fake goods sneak through anti-counterfeiting measures is their improved appearance of quality. It’s gotten easier to take advantage of leaked brand and production details that some manufactures use to create fakes that closely imitate the real thing.

Often, however, this quality imitation is only on the surface. Sometimes the counterfeiting operation isn’t complete until after a shipment arrives in the U.S.

While some products may be legally imported as a generic, packaging or labels are later used to disguise a counterfeit as the real thing just before it hits store shelves and online listings.

This same labeling technique is also used to provide false assurance that products have met with certain safety and operational certifications, while in reality they’ve undergone no such measures. This is an especially common problem with electronics.

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Safety Issues Below The Surface
Misrepresenting a product to make an easy profit is one thing, but counterfeiting is a crime that can victimize more than just a brand. Faulty wiring and components in any number of counterfeit appliances have created very real electric shock and fire hazards for unsuspecting consumers.

Counterfeit auto parts unknowingly used cars and trucks could create life and death situations for drivers and passengers. In a broader sense, there’s also the ongoing struggle to balance effective and thorough anti-counterfeiting measures without hindering the pace of legitimate commerce.

As the public becomes more aware of counterfeiting, especially as when it affects more than just purses, jeans, and entertainment products, do you think the fight to spot and stop fakes will get better?

Has counterfeiting become a problem for your industry or business?

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