Intellectual property crime penalty enforcement increased in from the first half of 2011 to the first half of 2012, with more liquid damage claims and more commercial fraud penalties reported. 57 factories were visited to investigate illegal shipment and trade preference terms. 19% were found to have issues with shipment and 32% were found to have issues with trade preferences. US Customs and Border Enforcement conducted 3,668 examinations in H1 2012, markedly down from 10,444 examinations in H1 2011.
US Customs and Border Enforcement has faced a complicated landscape in recent months, as large shipments of counterfeit goods have begun to be supplanted by smaller direct mail shipments abetted by the rise of internet commerce in China. This increases the amount of resources required for enforcement and tends to reduce the overall value of captured goods. Intellectual property conflicts have long been a sticking point in US trade relations.