Most fake items (70 per cent) were detained through postal services and courier packages, with medicines accounting for 23 per cent.
In the UK, 4,032,550 articles were detained during 2012, a 13 per cent drop from 2011 (4,653,454), but still amongst some of the highest EU reporting figures. 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).
The top five products in the UK, accounting for 75 per cent of seizures, included:
- packaging material (ie cardboard boxes, such as cereals)
- perfumes and cosmetics
- parts and accessories for mobile phones
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit said: “Customs is the EU's first line of defence against fake products which undermine legal businesses. Today's report shows the intensity and importance of the work being done by Customs in this field. I will continue to push for even greater protection of intellectual property rights in Europe, through our work with international partners, the industry and Member States."
Whilst China continued to be the main source, 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.
Around 90% of all detained cases were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine the infringement.