Annual Report on Counterfeit Seized Goods – 2017 Results
16 January 2019
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 27 September 2018, the Commission presented its annual report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights in 2017.

The report contains statistical information about the detentions made under customs procedures and includes data on the description, quantities, and values of the goods; their provenance; the means of transport; and the type of intellectual property right (IPR) that may have been infringed.

Fake products entering the EU is still high on the agenda of criminals and remains a major concern, although the total figures have decreased in 2017 compared to 2016. This decrease can be viewed in the context of recently enacted EU legislation, which encourages European companies to invest more in innovation and creativity in order to make it easier to act efficiently against breaches of IPR, facilitate cross-border litigation, and tackle the import of counterfeit or pirated goods into the EU.

In 2017, customs authorities detained over 31 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU’s external border having a street value of over €580 million.

Products for daily use and products that would be potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers (i.e. suspected trademark infringements relating to food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical household goods and toys) accounted for 43.3% of the total amount of detained articles. This is a significant increase compared to the two previous years.

The following were at the top on the list of detained articles: foodstuffs (accounting for 24% of the overall amount of detained articles), followed by toys (11%), cigarettes (9%), and clothes (7%).

As regards the means of transport, the report indicates the following:

  • 65% of all detained articles entered the EU via the maritime route, usually in large consignments;
  • 14% of fake articles were transported by means of air traffic;
  • Courier traffic and postal traffic together still accounted for 76% of all detentions (mainly consumer articles ordered via e-commerce);
  • As regards provenance of fake goods, the following data were reported:
  • China remains the main country of origin for fake goods entering the EU;
  • The highest amount of fake clothing originated from Turkey;
  • The most counterfeit mobile phones and accessories, e.g. ink cartridges and toners, CDs/DVDs and labels, tags and stickers came from Hong Kong and China;
  • India was the top country of origin for fake and potentially harmful medicines.

Furthermore, the report reveals that, in 90% of detentions, goods were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine an infringement or as part of criminal proceedings.

News Guide

EU Counterfeiting & Piracy


2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher