More than 40 million counterfeit goods stopped at customs

9/28/2016

In 2015 the customs service in the EU stopped over 40 million items of counterfeit goods worth 642 million euros. That shows a report the European Commission recently presented.

In Sweden 58 000 items of counterfeit goods were stopped and over 240 actions taken, writes the Swedish Customs in a pressrelease. The largest number of actions were made in postal traffic and most of the goods were destroyed.

- During last year the Swedish Customs took action against counterfeit spare parts and accessories for mobile phones as well as clothing and footwear, says Suzan Kalinagil, specialist in intellectual property and product safety at Swedish Customs.

Consumers not aware of buying counterfeits

Most of the counterfeit products comes from Asia, but an increasing number of products shows up from around the world as more and more people shop online. Consumers are not always aware that the product they are buying is a counterfeit.

- We have increasingly been getting more questions on our FAQ website from customers who thought they bought an original product but it turns out to be an illegal copy. Often the consumer have ordered from a British site, but then the order has been sent from China or Hong Kong, says Jolanda Girzl, Head of ECC Sweden.

Furthermore Jolanda tells that ECC Sweden unfortunately cannot help in cases where there are no contact information on where the company actually is registered. Usually there is only a contact form on the site and no other information where you can reach the company.

- I advise consumers to check our discussion groups on the FAQ website and our checklists for e-commerce and counterfeit goods before you shop online, says Jolanda.

Risks with counterfeit products

Besides that counterfeit goods affect society negatively with lost tax revenue, jobs and costs to combat the illegal activities of piracy - even the products themselves pose a risk to consumers. Many counterfeit products do not meet safety requirements and are therefore directly dangerous, e.g. counterfeit medicines or toys.

Source: Swedish Customs press release September 23, 2016 (in Swedish, pdf)

More information

Read more in the European Commission report, ECC Sweden’s articles about e-commerce and advice on counterfeit goods.

ECC Sweden cooperate with our colleagues the International Public Prosecution Office (National Intellectual Property Crime Unit), Patent and Trademark Office (Design and Trademark Department), Swedish Police, Swedish Companies Registration Office, Swedish Customs (Law enforcement) and Medical Products Agency in the network to combat counterfeiting /piracy together.