EU reports dip in illicit goods seizures last year

Customs signThere was a small decline in both the number and value of confiscated goods at EU borders last year, although potentially hazardous items showed a sharp increase.

Overall, EU customs authorities sized 36m articles believed to be counterfeit or otherwise infringe intellectual property rights (IPR), down from around 40m in 2012, while the value of goods seized fell from around €900m to €770m.

The number of detention cases stayed very high at some 87,000, reflecting the fact that an increasing number of cases - 72 per cent of the total in 2013 - were small consignments sent via postal or courier services.

The top categories of detained articles were clothing which accounted for 12 per cent of the overall amount, followed by other goods (11 per cent), medicines (10 per cent), cigarettes (9 per cent), packaging materials (9 per cent) and toys (8 per cent).

The most alarming statistic from the latest report was that illicit goods that could pose health and safety risks to the public accounted for a quarter of all articles seized, up from less than 13 per cent in 2012.

Products falling under this category included food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical household goods and toys, and the increase was mainly a result of increased seizures of pharmaceutical products.

"Protecting IPR is not only important for health and safety of European consumers but also supports growth and job creation in the EU," said Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit.

In 92 per cent of the cases of detentions by customs, the goods were either destroyed after the owner of the goods and the right-holder agreed on destruction, or the right-holder initiated a court case to establish the IPR infringement.

In the remainder of the cases, the goods were released because the right-holder did not react to the notification by customs (5 per cent) or they were original goods (3 per cent).

Counterfeit sources

Regarding the country of origin of seized products, China was once again the biggest single source but there were interesting variations between product categories, according to the report.

Egypt was a big source for foodstuffs, Turkey for perfumes and cosmetics and Hong Kong for other body care items, mobile phones, memory cards and sticks, ink cartridges and electrical household appliances.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top