Almost 900,000 Counterfeit Products Seized in Anti-Smuggling Operation

At the beginning of May 2023, a major anti-smuggling operation (Operation Pirates 1) was carried out by 15 EU Member States and Frontex with the support of Europol, OLAF, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the Customs Eastern and South-Eastern Land Border Expert Team (CELBET), the Law Enforcement Working Party - Customs Cooperation (LEWP-C), and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI). Operation Pilates 1 led to the seizure of 810,995 counterfeit products and 61,246 counterfeit electronic devices, with the total amount of all seized goods exceeding €33 million. The seizure included clothes infringing the rights of more than 60 trademarks, footwear, and accessoires like bags, wallets, belts, sunglasses, etc. as well as perfumes, electric bikes, and watches.

Counterfeit products not only undermine the legitimate market and the EU budget but also pose a danger to the health of the consumers. The operation was part of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) - a recurring four-year cycle to identify, prioritise, and address threats posed by organised and serious international crime.

News Guide

EU Frontex Counterfeiting & Piracy Law Enforcement Cooperation


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section