International Operation Against Fake Shampoo
On 18 February 2019, OLAF reported on a successful international operation which culminated in the search and seizure of 400 tons of counterfeit shampoo with an estimated retail value of €5 million. The fake haircare products stem from China and were shipped to Latin America from different ports in China and Korea. OLAF was able to keep track of the shipment by means of special software. With OLAF’s coordination and the support of the Spanish customs service, the Columbian and Mexican authorities stopped the cargo before it could reach its final destination in Venezuela (where the products were to be distributed). Hence, import into the European market could be prevented.
OLAF stressed that trade in counterfeit products not only leads to significant losses in tax revenue. The smuggling of counterfeit products also harms the European economy, damages legitimate business, and stifles innovation, putting many jobs at risk. Counterfeiting also poses serious risks to health and safety as well as the environment.