Varying rules within the EU

Updated: 1/21/2015

Legislation on counterfeit products varies in the different EU countries. In Sweden, for instance, you do not get fined for merely possessing a counterfeit product. But in some countries you do. 

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Below is a compilation of the legislation in the EU countries.

Sweden

In Sweden, Customs do not intervene if you, as a traveller, possess a few counterfeit products in your personal luggage, provided that the goods are not commercial.

Austria

In Austria you do not get fined if you are a consumer and you are purchasing the products for your own personal use. If you, however, are purchasing the products in order to resell them, you might get fined.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, a consumer may bring three counterfeit products into the country, after a stay abroad. There is a special list at Customs. If the consumer possesses more products, they are confiscated and the consumer might get fined.

France

In France, consumers in possession of counterfeit products might get fined with up to 300 000 euro and might also end up in prison, (3 years). Since 1994, import, export and possession of counterfeit products are strictly forbidden in France. Up to this day however, no consumer has been prosecuted for merely possession of counterfeit products.

Italy

To protect design products, mainly the brand “Made in Italy”, the Italian government have issued a so called “Decreto sulla competività (decree on competition regulation). This is a penalty that has been developed to protect the Italian market from the invasion of counterfeit products, by fining buyers, importers or distributors of these products.

Unwary consumers risk fines up to 10 000 euro if they get caught buying or importing counterfeit products, and the goods are confiscated.

You might end up with really high fines if you buy ”articles of suspicious origin”, (acquisto d cose di sospetta provenienza). In these cases, it is assumed that the consumer knows enough about the designer, for example Gucci, Prada, Armani to believe that the price can be that low.

(decree on competition regulation). This is a penalty that has been developed to protect the Italian market from the invasion of counterfeit products, by fining buyers, importers or distributors of these products.

Unwary consumers risk fines up to 10 000 euro if they get caught buying or importing counterfeit products, and the goods are confiscated.

You might end up with really high fines if you buy ”articles of suspicious origin”, (acquisto d cose di sospetta provenienza). In these cases, it is assumed that the consumer knows enough about the designer, for example Gucci, Prada, Armani to believe that the price can be that low.