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EU customs enforcement and intellectual property rights

by July 21, 2017 General

Newly published European Commission report shows that customs authorities detained more than 41 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU’s external border in 2016. The goods had a total value of over €670 million. Potentially dangerous to health and safety products, e.g. food and drink, medicines, toys and household electrical goods, etc. accounted for over a third of all intercepted goods.

Commission’s report on customs actions to enforce intellectual property rights,
IPR has been issued annually since 2000 and is based on data transmitted by the
EU states’ customs administrations to the Commission.


The data provide valuable
information which supports the analysis of intellectual property rights
infringements and helps other institutions such as the European Union
Intellectual Property Office and the OECD to map economic data and the most
common routes for counterfeiters.


Commissioner for Economic and
Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici,  said on
the occasion of the report’s publication that high level of protection of
intellectual property had been crucial to support growth and create jobs.


He underlined that 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. 


Customs authorities play
important role in combating fake goods; they need support and resources to
enable them to protect citizens 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, he added.


Fake goods’

Cigarettes were the top
category (24%) for articles detained and toys the second largest group (17%),
followed by foodstuffs (13%) and packaging material (12%).


The number of intercepted
articles rose by 2% compared to 2015.


China remains the clear leader
when it comes to the provenance of fake goods: 80% of articles arrived from
China in 2016. 


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.


In more than 90% of
detentions, goods were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to
determine an infringement or as part of criminal procedures.




Full report on EU
customs enforcement and IPR at: