Counterfeit goods seized in EU up 15% in 2015
Customs authorities across the EU seized an estimated five million more counterfeit items in 2015 than the previous year – an increase of 15% – according to new figures from the European Commission.
More than 40 million products suspected of violating intellectual property rights were seized at the EU’s external borders, with a value of nearly €650 million.
The report, based on enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the EU, also provides figures on the categories of goods detained, on their countries of origin, on the intellectual property rights involved and on the modes of transport used to ship such goods.
Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici praised the work of European customs official, but said “the criminal activity which swamps our internal market with fake and illegal products shows no sign of abating. The Commission will continue to work with customs authorities, international partners and industry to ensure a high level of protection for intellectual property rights in the EU.”
Cigarettes remain the top category (27%) of articles detained, while everyday products which could be dangerous to the health and safety of consumers such as food and beverages, toiletries, medicines, toys and household electrical goods account jointly for 25.8% of the total.
Once again, China was the main originating country for counterfeit goods (41%), followed by Montenegro, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Benin.
Benin was the originating country of a large amount of foodstuff, while Mexico was the top source for counterfeit alcoholic beverages and Morocco for other beverages. Malaysia was in the lead for toiletries, Turkey for clothing, Hong Kong for counterfeit mobile phones and accessories, memory cards, computer equipment, CDs and DVDs and lighters.
Montenegro was the biggest originator of counterfeit cigarettes, while India topped the list for medicines. In more than 91% of detentions, goods were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine an infringement in cooperation with the right-holder of the brand which is being infringed.
In June 2013, new rules on IPR enforcement at customs were adopted. This Regulation has been applicable across the EU since 1 January 2015 and strengthens the rules to protect intellectual property.