Five Indian markets in USTR's Notorious Markets List

The US Trade Representative (USTR) recently released its annual list of the world's notorious markets, which includes the well-known eCommerce site IndiaMART and four other Indian markets — Palika Bazaar in Delhi, Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata and Tank Road in Delhi. According to the report, counterfeit goods can be found in large volumes on IndiaMART, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, electronics and apparel.

11 Mar 2022 | By WhatPackaging? Team

The USTR's Notorious Markets List (NML) enumerates online and physical markets reportedly involved in facilitating, neglecting or benefitting from sale of counterfeit products or copyright piracy and violations.

The 2021 Notorious Markets List identified 42 online and 35 physical markets around the world that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.

The USTR report said IndiaMART, an eCommerce website and mobile app that connects buyers with suppliers, describes itself as the world’s second largest online business-to-business market.

Right holders are concerned with IndiaMART’s failure to adequately implement anti-counterfeiting best practices, including seller verification, penalties against known sellers of counterfeit goods, or proactive monitoring of infringing goods.

IndiaMART apparently has a notice-and-takedown system, but right holders report that it is burdensome to use, the time-to-takedown is slow, and the status of notices is not transparently communicated to right holders, the report said.

The USTR said a major indoor market located at the heart of Mumbai, Heera Panna, reportedly offers counterfeit watches, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics. Right holders warn that counterfeit cosmetics sold at this market have health and safety risks. A raid at Heera Panna in September 2021 resulted in arrests for selling counterfeit versions of premium watches.

Locally known as “Fancy Market", Kidderpore allegedly sells counterfeit apparel and cosmetics, often in wholesale quantities. Severe skin problems, rashes, irritation, and eye diseases have reportedly been caused due to the poor quality of the counterfeits, the report said.

Palika Bazaar remains on the notorious market list (NML) in 2021. This underground market in Delhi is seemingly well-known for the trade of counterfeit products, such as mobile accessories, cosmetics, watches and eyewear.

Right holders report that Delhi's wholesale Tank Road market continues to sell counterfeit products, including apparel, footwear, watches, handbags, electronics, and beauty products. Wholesale counterfeit goods are also reportedly supplied from this market to other Indian markets, including Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road, the report said.

USTR is an agency of the US government responsible for developing and promoting American trade policy.

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