Italy recorded the highest number of articles seized (6,108,760) - a drop of 80 per cent on 2011 figures - followed by Malta (6,065,155), Spain (3,140,722), Germany (2,470,331) and Belgium (2,310,620).
Customs officials are the first line of defence against fake products entering the EU and during 2012 they intercepted almost 40 million products suspected of violating intellectual property rights. This is less than in 2011, but the value of the intercepted goods is still high, at nearly £867m (€1bn). As in previous years, China continues to be the main source of fakes.
Cigarettes (30.86 per cent) were the most frequently detained item across the EU. Other goods including bottles, lamps, glue, batteries and washing powders accounted for 11.76 per cent and packaging materials 9.84 per cent.
Most fake items (70 per cent) were detained through postal services and courier packages, with medicines accounting for 23 per cent.
Whilst China continued to be the main source of most faked goods, Morocco was the top source for foodstuffs, Hong Kong for CD/DVDs and other tobacco products (mainly electronic cigarettes and liquid fillings for them), and Bulgaria for packaging materials.