Customs authorities in the EU confiscated about a quarter more consignments of counterfeit goods in 2018 than they did in 2017, according to a recent EU report. Next to this drastic increase, many of the countries of origin of illegal products seized are rather surprising.

Customs officials in the EU seized about 20 percent more counterfeit consignments in 2018 than in the previous year. Year on year, the number of intercepted shipments rose from 57,433 cases in 2017 to 69,354 cases in 2018. This is one result of a recent report by the EU Commission.

In Germany, customs authorities recorded an even more dramatic increase in intercepted shipments of counterfeit goods: While 18,888 deliveries were secured in 2017, the number climbed to 33,421 in the last year.

Overall, the EU customs authorities confiscated around 27 million fake articles worth around 740 million euros. While the number of confiscated items decreased year on year, the dramatic increase in seized consignments can be explained by the enormous amounts of small packages that are being sent via postal or express services, especially in online commerce.

“Customs officers across the EU have seen success in tracking down and seizing counterfeit goods that are often dangerous for consumers. Their job is made even more difficult by the rise in small packages entering the EU through online sales,” said Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.

Articles of daily use were particularly affected by counterfeiting, such as clothing, personal care products, toys, medicines, but also food and drinks.

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It might also be worth to note some of the countries of origin of the counterfeits seized by EU customs in 2018. As in previous years, the lion’s share of counterfeits confiscated in the EU came from China, amounting to around 50 percent. However, counterfeit alcoholic beverages, for example, mainly came from North-Macedonia, while counterfeit non-alcoholic beverages, perfumes, and cosmetics originated primarily in Turkey. Fakes of computer accessories came mostly from India into the EU, counterfeit cigarettes from Cambodia, and packaging materials from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In an additional report, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is providing further results on the fight against counterfeiting in the EU. This analysis provides a comprehensive overview of detained counterfeit products between 2013 and 2017, both at the external borders of the EU and on national markets.

Sources: European Commission, EUIPO, Emerging Markets