EU customs applications skyrocket in 2015

The European Commission’s latest annual report into EU customs enforcement has found that the amount of suspected counterfeit articles seized by authorities rose by 15% year on year, with the number of applications for action up by a startling 59% across the same period.

The report, entitled “EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Results at the EU Border in 2015”, also reveals that the total value of all detained suspected counterfeit goods in the European Union last year was €642 million, an increase from €617 million the previous year. A total of 40.7 million suspected counterfeit items were detained – a rise of over 5 million compared to 2014.

Of those items, the majority were seized in Greece (6.4 million, up 775% from 2014), France (6.3 million, up 40%), the Netherlands (5.1 million, up 117%), Romania (4.7 million, up 53%) and Slovenia (3.2 million, up 535%). In terms of where they originated from, China remains top (with 41% of seized goods originating there), followed by Montenegro (17%), Hong Kong (9%), Malaysia (9%) and Benin (8%) (with the report noting that Montenegro placed so high because of large seizures of counterfeit cigarettes).

Cigarettes were the most seized product category overall, accounting for 27% of detained goods (with toys, food and labels/tags next in the list, all below 10%). There were also significant year-on-year differences in the types of product being detained. Categories with a fall of at least 50% included alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, jewellery and CD/DVDs; while categories with a significant increase (of at least 50%) included foodstuffs, sunglasses, handbags and vehicle accessories.

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