Wednesday, 26 January, 2022

Counterfeiting: seizures of goods jumped during the crisis


More than 5.6 million counterfeit goods were discovered in 2020, according to the report published on Monday by the Customs Department. Bercy is launching a new action plan to fight this crime.

In the counterfeit “hit parade”, clothes, shoes and accessories come out on top (around 800,000 seizures), ahead of games and toys, electronic equipment and drugs.

The crisis has not put customs officials out of work. If the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic plunged attendance at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle by 70% last year, goods continued to flow. The hunt for counterfeits has therefore not weakened. Result: more than 2 million counterfeit products were seized at the main airport in France.

The report for the year 2020 that the Customs Department published on Monday shows a 20% increase in seizures throughout France. A total of 5.64 million copies have fallen into the hands of customs officials. The report underlines that 62% of the findings were made in express and postal freight offices, a large part of which was at Roissy.

Fake Viagra pills

In the counterfeit “hit parade”, clothes, shoes and accessories come out on top (around 800,000 seizures), ahead of games and toys (473,000), electronic equipment (172,000) and drugs (120,000).

In January 2020, the Nogent-sur-Marne brigade notably achieved an exceptional capture by intercepting a truck arriving from the port of Antwerp and containing no less than 70,000 pairs of shoes imitating Dior, Reebok, Adidas and Palladium models. Other highlights of the year include fake Pokémon cards, copies of postage stamps, imitation Samsung and Apple phone cases, and fake Viagra pills.

The health crisis has expanded the offer. “ Certain medical devices and drugs have been particularly targeted by counterfeiters », Indicates the Customs Department, which points out that copies of surgical respiratory protective masks, FFP2 or FFP3 have been found in several European countries.

Read also:

How Tracfin is navigating the health crisis

In France, 272,000 counterfeit protective masks were seized. ” Lhe major fraud on this type of product was identified on the basis of non-compliance with the standards in force », Explains the Customs Department. Textile manufacturers have also seized the opportunity of the health crisis: fabric masks bearing false logos of major brands have circulated, in particular via the Internet.

Darknet organizations

Faced with the importance of counterfeiting offenses (which can be punished with a fine and imprisonment), customs and the Ministry of the Economy announced on Monday the launch of a new action plan. Olivier Dussopt, the Minister for Public Accounts went to Roissy to present it. The challenge is to “ preserve the capacity of companies to create jobs and innovate “, and of “ combat major trafficking which threatens the health and safety of consumers ».

Read also:

Counterfeiting: the lost billions of the French economy

Goal ? Develop the technical means of customs to adapt to the spectacular rise of online commerce in the traffic of copy articles. One of the priorities is to extend the network of cyber customs officers, these experts capable of infiltrating and dismantling the underground organizations operating on the Darknet. Last year, the “cyber” teams were able to carry out three “buying moves” until they were completed. These operations, which require the approval of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, allow agents to pose as buyers in order to trace them back to the suppliers.

In the same vein, Bercy intends to revitalize the collection of information and the control of postal items and express freight. Moreover, while a decade has passed since the resounding legal drama between eBay and LVMH (owner of “Echoes”), the objective of better cooperation between online marketplaces and social networks remains unresolved.

If the fight against counterfeiting now finds an echo at the European level, with the “Digital Act Services”, which must impose obligations of transparency and traceability from sellers to online platforms, and with the Union action plan European Union in favor of intellectual property, some believe that it is necessary to go further. The Manufacturers’ Union (Unifab), which represents more than 200 companies and professional federations affected by counterfeiting, urges the European Commission to toughen up its tone against digital players.

Sanctions against the offense of counterfeiting

Customs tax sanctions are combined with common law criminal sanctions (provided for by the Intellectual Property Code) that may be imposed on the author of the infringement. Which ones? Confiscation of fraudulent goods and the resulting goods and assets as well as a fine of between one and two times the value of the object. For acts committed in an organized gang, the fine can go up to ten times the value. A maximum imprisonment of three years is also possible. It goes up to ten years if the facts fall within the purview of the organized gang.

Maritime transport, the royal road to counterfeiting

More than 50% of the value of counterfeit goods seized worldwide is transported by sea, according to a report by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). China was the first economy to source containers of these products (79% of the total). India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are also among the countries of origin of counterfeit or pirated goods traded around the world. The main countries of entry into the European Union are Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (before Brexit). Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania are strongly affected in terms of their weight in trade.

More than 5.6 million counterfeit goods were discovered in 2020, according to the report published on Monday by the Customs Department. Bercy is launching a new action plan to fight this crime.

In the counterfeit “hit parade”, clothes, shoes and accessories come out on top (around 800,000 seizures), ahead of games and toys, electronic equipment and drugs.

The crisis has not put customs officials out of work. If the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic plunged attendance at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle by 70% last year, goods continued to flow. The hunt for counterfeits has therefore not weakened. Result: more than 2 million counterfeit products were seized at the main airport in France.

The report for the year 2020 that the Customs Department published on Monday shows a 20% increase in seizures throughout France. A total of 5.64 million copies have fallen into the hands of customs officials. The report underlines that 62% of the findings were made in express and postal freight offices, a large part of which was at Roissy.

Fake Viagra pills

In the counterfeit “hit parade”, clothes, shoes and accessories come out on top (around 800,000 seizures), ahead of games and toys (473,000), electronic equipment (172,000) and drugs (120,000).

In January 2020, the Nogent-sur-Marne brigade notably achieved an exceptional capture by intercepting a truck arriving from the port of Antwerp and containing no less than 70,000 pairs of shoes imitating Dior, Reebok, Adidas and Palladium models. Other highlights of the year include fake Pokémon cards, copies of postage stamps, imitation Samsung and Apple phone cases, and fake Viagra pills.

The health crisis has expanded the offer. “ Certain medical devices and drugs have been particularly targeted by counterfeiters », Indicates the Customs Department, which points out that copies of surgical respiratory protective masks, FFP2 or FFP3 have been found in several European countries.

Read also:

How Tracfin is navigating the health crisis

In France, 272,000 counterfeit protective masks were seized. ” Lhe major fraud on this type of product was identified on the basis of non-compliance with the standards in force », Explains the Customs Department. Textile manufacturers have also seized the opportunity of the health crisis: fabric masks bearing false logos of major brands have circulated, in particular via the Internet.

Darknet organizations

Faced with the importance of counterfeiting offenses (which can be punished with a fine and imprisonment), customs and the Ministry of the Economy announced on Monday the launch of a new action plan. Olivier Dussopt, the Minister for Public Accounts went to Roissy to present it. The challenge is to “ preserve the capacity of companies to create jobs and innovate “, and of “ combat major trafficking which threatens the health and safety of consumers ».

Read also:

Counterfeiting: the lost billions of the French economy

Goal ? Develop the technical means of customs to adapt to the spectacular rise of online commerce in the traffic of copy articles. One of the priorities is to extend the network of cyber customs officers, these experts capable of infiltrating and dismantling the underground organizations operating on the Darknet. Last year, the “cyber” teams were able to carry out three “buying moves” until they were completed. These operations, which require the approval of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, allow agents to pose as buyers in order to trace them back to the suppliers.

In the same vein, Bercy intends to revitalize the collection of information and the control of postal items and express freight. Moreover, while a decade has passed since the resounding legal drama between eBay and LVMH (owner of “Echoes”), the objective of better cooperation between online marketplaces and social networks remains unresolved.

If the fight against counterfeiting now finds an echo at the European level, with the “Digital Act Services”, which must impose obligations of transparency and traceability from sellers to online platforms, and with the Union action plan European Union in favor of intellectual property, some believe that it is necessary to go further. The Manufacturers’ Union (Unifab), which represents more than 200 companies and professional federations affected by counterfeiting, urges the European Commission to toughen up its tone against digital players.

Sanctions against the offense of counterfeiting

Customs tax sanctions are combined with common law criminal sanctions (provided for by the Intellectual Property Code) that may be imposed on the author of the infringement. Which ones? Confiscation of fraudulent goods and the resulting goods and assets as well as a fine of between one and two times the value of the object. For acts committed in an organized gang, the fine can go up to ten times the value. A maximum imprisonment of three years is also possible. It goes up to ten years if the facts fall within the purview of the organized gang.

Maritime transport, the royal road to counterfeiting

More than 50% of the value of counterfeit goods seized worldwide is transported by sea, according to a report by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). China was the first economy to source containers of these products (79% of the total). India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are also among the countries of origin of counterfeit or pirated goods traded around the world. The main countries of entry into the European Union are Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (before Brexit). Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania are strongly affected in terms of their weight in trade.