World Footwear


EU: 26 million articles suspected of infringing IP rights

Nov 7, 2019 European Union
EU: 26 million articles suspected of infringing IP rights
The conclusion is from the report on the European Union (EU) customs enforcement of intellectual property rights. Data refers to the year 2018
"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.  Protecting the integrity of our Single Market and Customs Union, and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights in the international supply chain are also priorities. We need to continue stepping up the efforts against counterfeiting and piracy", commented Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Custom.

Every year, the European Commission publishes a report describing the customs detentions of articles suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPR), such as trademarks, copyrights and patents.

The latest update using statistics published in September 2019 by the European Commission show that in 2018 detentions covered roughly 70 000 cases and almost 27 million articles suspected of violating intellectual property rights. This resulted in an estimated domestic retail value of almost 740 million euros (meaning, this would represent the value of the equivalent genuine products)

Countries of provenance

China is the main country of provenance for goods suspected of infringing one or more intellectual property rights (IP rights) arriving in the European Union (EU). For specific product categories, other countries feature as the main countries of provenance, notably:  North  Macedonia  for  alcoholic  beverages;  Turkey  for  other  beverages  and  perfumes  and  cosmetics;  Hong  Kong, China for watches, mobile phones and accessories, ink cartridges and toners, CDs/DVDs and labels, tags and stickers; India for computer equipment; Cambodia for cigarettes; and Bosnia and Herzegovina for packaging material.

Product categories

The top categories for detained articles were: cigarettes (15.6% of the overall amount of detained articles), followed by toys (14.2%), packaging material (9.4%), labels, tags and stickers (8.9 %) and clothing (8.6%). Compared to 2017, foodstuffs and other goods have been replaced by packaging materials and labels, tags and stickers as product categories in the top five.

Health and safety concerns

Products for daily use and products that would be potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers (i.e. suspected trademark infringements concerning food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical household goods and toys) accounted for 36.8%  of the total amount of detained article (a  decrease compared to 2017 but comparable to the 34.2% in 2016).

For more information and to access the complete report please follow this LINK.