Philippines warns travelers to US not to take pirated items or face deportation

The Philippine government has warned its citizens not to carry pirated goods into the United States, and that they could be immediately deported if they do so.

Citing a travel advisory from the U.S. Commercial Service, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday that even one pirated CD, DVD, bag, cosmetic or book could result in "automatic deportation" of Filipino citizens.

American citizens would face arrest, prosecution and fines for violating intellectual property rights if caught trying to take in such items.

Pirated videos _ as well as counterfeit designer bags and shoes falsely claiming to be brand names such as Gucci, Louis Vitiation, Coach and Pride _ flood flea markets around Manila and are sold at a fraction of the cost of the originals.

Filipinos planning to take nursing exams in the United States also should take care not to carry pirated books with them, the government said.

The warning comes ahead of the Christmas season, when many Filipinos travel to the United States to visit relatives and vice versa, AP reported.

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