Taxation and Customs Union

Intellectual Property Rights - Facts and figures

Every year, the European Commission publishes a report describing the customs serizures of articles suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) such as trademarks, copyrights and patents.

In 2019, fake goods with a retail value of over €760 million were seized at the EU’s external borders. This figure represents a €20 million increase in value from 2018. The number of detentions went up by over 30% in the same period.

Report on the EU Customs enforcement of intellectual property rights in 2019

Factsheet

Overall, in 2019 Member State customs authorities made over 90,000 seizures of goods that infringed on intellectual property rights, consisting of almost 41 million individual items. 

Cigarettes accounted for 21.3% of the overall amount of detained articles, while a large number of seizures of counterfeit matches originating in Pakistan were responsible for 20%. Packaging material (13.6%), toys (9.6%) and clothing (3.9%) account for the large majority of remaining counterfeit products being imported into the EU that year. In 85% of customs seizures, the goods were eventually destroyed.

China, Hong Kong, and Turkey were the main source countries for fake and counterfeit goods in 2019. Consignments of fake watches arriving into the EU from Morocco, clothing from Senegal and hookah tobacco from Serbia brought those countries into the top seven countries of provenance for goods infringing IPR.

Counterfeit products for daily use that are potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers, such as food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical household goods and toys remain a problem, accounting for 15.6% of the total amount of detained articles.

A complementary report published by the EUIPO Observatory today contains an analysis of detentions within the EU internal market, and provides information on trends for that period.

For more information

The full report is available here.

Previous IPR Reports are available here.

The EUIPO Report on detentions within the EU internal market is available here.