Customs Union: Number of counterfeit goods seized by EU authorities continued to rise in 2015

Customs authorities across the EU seized an estimated five million more counterfeit items in 2015 than the previous year, according to new figures released today by the European Commission. This means that the number of intercepted goods grew by 15% compared to 2014. More than 40 million products suspected of violating an intellectual property right were detained at the EU’s external borders, with a value of nearly €650 million. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the excellent work of customs officials across the EU in dealing with counterfeit and sometimes dangerous goods.But 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.