China Daily:  The ongoing crackdown on counterfeit goods has seen more than 39 million fake products seized in the first half of this year.

Customs officers cracked 1,076 intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement cases from January to June, involving more than 68 million yuan (US$8.5 million), according to a report from the State General Administration of Customs (GAC).

The number of counterfeit cases uncovered so far this year is already close to last year’s total and equal to one-fifth of the total number of IPR infringements discovered in the past 10 years, said the report.

GAC Director-General Mou Xinsheng attributed the rise in the number of IPR infringements uncovered to stricter controls and more effective supervision by customs officers.

"We’re dedicated to IPR protection, and will maintain pressure on such cases," he said.

The report released on Tuesday mentioned several major IPR infringement cases which were uncovered this year, including the biggest case of imported fake goods discovered in recent years.

Customs in Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, seized 108,000 bottles of fake Wong To Yick Wood Lock Medicated Oil from Hong Kong, with a total value of 1.89 million yuan (US$236,000) on May 24.

In March, Tianjin customs found 55,000 fake Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok items of clothing and shoes. While early this year, customs in Ningbo, in East China’s Zhejiang Province, seized 1,340 sewing machines falsely branded with the Butterfly trademark.

Customs officers have also strengthened their supervision of Olympic trademarks.

In May Xiamen customs in East China’s Fujian Province seized 672 items of children’s clothing suspected of illegally carrying the 2008 Olympic mascots. While Tianjin customs seized 4,150 school bags, due to be exported to Cameroon, which also illegally used the mascots’ images.

GAC figures show that since China’s entry to the World Trade Organization in 2001, the number of IPR infringement cases uncovered by Chinese customs officers has increased by 30 per cent annually. About 90 per cent of IPR infringements involve the violation of trademarks.

On June 14, Chinese customs won the "Public Organizations Government Departments" award at the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards 2005, organized by the Paris-based Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group.

It was the first time a Chinese IPR-enforcement department had won an international award.