The EU Commission has published their latest customs statistics on faked products and brand piracy. These reveal that in 2005 more than 75 million faked products were seized by EU customs authorities which also represents an increase in those counterfeits which could be harmful to humans.
For the first time more than five million faked groceries, beverages, alcoholic drinks as well as more than half a million drugs were seized which means that this kind of dangerous counterfeits is on the march. However, most counterfeits are household appliances and luxury goods (always less frequent), but due to the high quality of these counterfeits it is often impossible to identify them as such without expert knowledge.
One of the reasons for this explosive development is the fact that in the meantime criminals have come to be able to produce counterfeits on a large scale. This has not only led to higher profits, but also to the implementation of a new efficient process of money laundering. Other factors which further complicate the work of customs offices are changed transport routes for counterfeit products, a broader range of imitated goods as well as their sale over the internet.
In order to fight this problem the EU Commission has come up with an customs action plan and is considering a modification of the EU customs legislation in order to establish a common European risk management.