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21 July 2017 at 14:00 BST

EU customs seized over 41 million fake goods worth €670m last year

Figures released by the European Commission reveal that customs authorities detained more than 41 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU's external border in 2016 worth a total value of €670 million.

Ceprek Tpannium

Cigarettes were the top category (24 per cent) for articles detained and toys the second largest group (17 per cent) followed by foodstuffs (13 per cent) and packaging material (12 per cent). China remained the clear leader when it comes to the provenance of fake goods with 80 per cent of articles arriving from the country in 2016.  

Countries of origin

Large amounts of cigarettes originated in Vietnam and Pakistan, while Singapore was the top source for counterfeit alcoholic beverages. Iran was the main source country for fake clothing accessories. Hong Kong was the leader for counterfeit mobile phones and India topped the list for counterfeit medicines.

Legal action

In more than 90 per cent of detentions, goods were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine an infringement or as part of criminal procedures. The number of intercepted articles rose by 2 per cent compared to 2015.

Protetcing IP crucial to EU

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: ‘A high level of protection of intellectual property is crucial to support growth and create jobs. Fake goods pose a real threat to health and safety of EU consumers and also undermine legal businesses and state revenues. Studies show that the EU is particularly exposed to imports of counterfeit products.’

Pay tribute

He added: ‘I want to pay tribute to the hard work of customs authorities in combating these fake goods. They need support and resources to enable them to protect us all from the dangers that they can pose. Cooperation between law enforcement authorities should be strengthened and risk management systems upgraded to protect the EU from goods infringing on intellectual property rights.’

Annual report

The Commission's report on customs actions to enforce IPR has been issued annually since 2000 and is based on data transmitted by Member States' customs administrations to the Commission.


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