The automotive components confiscated by the customs officials at this year’s Automechanika expo were mostly replacement parts and accessories such as oil and air filters, headlights and hubcaps. The officials also found counterfeit tools such as carjacks at various stands, as well as some 700 catalogs containing depictions of suspected counterfeits.
Altogether, around 150 potential product counterfeits were secured by the customs officials. Most of the illegal copies originated from China, with others coming from Argentina, France, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey, among other countries.
Exhibitors who were found to be first-time offenders had to pay a 500 euro security deposit against the expected penalties and court costs, and repeat offenders at least three times as much. Altogether, security deposits in the sum of more than 76,000 euro were collected, and 59 investigations into violations of brand, design and patent law were launched, according to Olaf Scheffler, spokesman of the Darmstadt Customs Office.
The roughly 30 customs officials from the Darmstadt Customs Office were supported by the Frankfurt expo organisers and representatives of the affected companies, who evaluated the authenticity of potential counterfeits directly on location. The confiscated goods are to be destroyed after the ongoing investigations are completed.