The EU Commission published a new report on the European Union (EU) customs enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) at the EU border during 2014, emphasizing the crucial role of EU customs authorities in fighting against counterfeit goods.
Overall, the total number of seizure cases rose to an all-time high, from 86,854 in 2013 to 95,194 in 2014, indicating an increase of 10% in counterfeit goods in one year. According to the European Commission, this continuous high number of cases can be attributed to the high number of cases in postal and courier traffic caused by Internet sales, which accounted for 81% of all detentions in 2014. A new procedure on small consignments, where goods can be destroyed when the rightholder has asked customs authorities to apply this procedure, greatly contributed to the 10% increase of detentions in 2014.
The top categories for detained articles were as follows:
• cigarettes (which accounted for 35% of the overall amount of detained articles)
• toys (10% of the overall amount)
• medicines (8% of the overall amount)
• clothing (5% of the overall amount)
• foodstuffs (4% of the overall amount)
Products for daily use as well as products that would be potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers (such as food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical household goods and toys that are suspected of trademark infringement) accounted for a total of 28.6% (compared with 25.2% in 2013) of the total amount of detained articles.
China continues to be, by far, the main country of provenance of IPR-infringing goods sent to the EU. Other countries appear, however, as the main country of provenance for specific product categories, notably
• Panama, for alcoholic beverages
• Morocco, for other beverages
• Thailand, for ink cartridges
• Hong Kong, SAR, China, for other body care items, mobile phones, CDs/DVDs and other tobacco products
The full report can be accessed here. For more information on INTA’s advocacy with customs officials around the world, please contact INTA Anticounterfeiting Advisor, Maysa Razavi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.