Thursday 04 October 2012 by Jonathan Rayner

EU customs officers detained almost 115 million products suspected of violating intellectual property rights in 2011 compared with 103 million in 2010, the latest European Commission annual report on customs efforts to enforce IPR has revealed.

The intercepted goods were valued at £1.04bn compared with £880m in 2010, with medicines heading the list of individual articles at 24%, followed by packaging materials at 21% and cigarettes at 18%.

However, the three categories that were subject to the highest number of cases were shoes, clothing and bags, and wallets and purses.

China accounted for the highest proportion of all detained goods at 73%, although Turkey remained the main source for counterfeit foodstuffs, Panama for alcoholic drinks, Thailand for soft drinks and Hong Kong for mobile phones. Syria entered the top 10 countries of origin for infringing articles for the first time this year with recorded CDs and DVDs.

Customs and anti-fraud commissioner Algirdas Semeta said: 'This report shows the intensity and importance of the work being done by customs in this field. I will continue to push for even greater protection of intellectual property rights in Europe, through our work with international partners and member states.'

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