Cigarettes top list of fakes

| July 24, 2017

Cigarettes topped the list of counterfeit products seized at the EU’s external borders last year, according to a Commission press note.

New figures published by the Commission show that customs authorities detained more than 41 million ‘fake and counterfeit’ products at the EU’s external borders in 2016.

‘The goods had a total value of over €670 million,’ the press note said.

‘Everyday products which are potentially dangerous to health and safety – such as food and drink, medicines, toys and household electrical goods – accounted for over a third of all intercepted goods.’

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, was quoted as saying that a high level of protection of intellectual property was 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.”

Moscovici paid tribute to the work done by customs authorities in combating fake goods.

“They need support and resources to enable them to protect us all from the dangers that they can pose,” he said.

“Co-operation between law enforcement authorities should be strengthened and risk management systems upgraded to protect the EU from goods infringing on intellectual property rights.”

At 24 percent, cigarettes comprised the top category of counterfeit products seized. Toys (17 percent) were second, foodstuffs (13 percent) were third, and packaging material (12 percent) was fourth.

The number of seized products was up by two percent on that of 2015.

Eighty percent of the counterfeit goods that arrived in the EU came from China, but large numbers of cigarettes originated in Vietnam and Pakistan.

The Commission’s report on customs actions to enforce international property rights has been issued annually since 2000 and is based on data transmitted by member states’ customs administrations to the Commission.

The full report is at: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/report_on_eu_customs_enforcement_of_ipr_at_the_border_2017.pdf.

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Category: Breaking News, Illicit trade, Tax

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