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European Commission And Member States Step Up Action Against Counterfeiting And Piracy
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
2005-02-12
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Statistics just published by the European Commission show a significant increase in the amount of counterfeit and pirated articles seized at the EU's external borders in 2003. Customs officials seized almost 100 million of such articles in 2003 compared with 85 million in 2002, of an estimated value of one billion euros. Of particular concern in terms of consumer health and safety is the increase in the number of seizures of games and children's toys, with 12 million seizures representing a 996% increase over 2002. Seizures of food products and medicines increased in the same period by 77%. The trend in recent years of a move from smuggling luxury goods to smuggling more everyday products continued in 2003. While the compilation of statistics for 2004 has not yet been completed, the results so far demonstrate that the customs authorities of the new Member States have intercepted a significant amount of counterfeit goods.

"Counterfeiting and piracy increasingly involve children's toys, medicines and food products and this constitutes a real danger to consumers" said EU Taxation and Customs Commissioner László Kovács. "The customs authorities of the Member States are already working hard to combat this problem but we must take many more very concrete actions if we are to protect ourselves and the world from this threat to our safety and to our economy."

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