Brussels – EU customs authorities seized more than 31 million fake goods last year, worth more than 580 million euros (679 million dollars), the European Commission has announced.
Counterfeit goods such as medicines or toys can be harmful for consumers, as well as damaging European industry by passing off cheaper fakes as the genuine article.
Day-to-day goods such as healthcare products and electrical goods made up an increased share of all counterfeits last year, rising to 43 per cent of detained articles, the commission said.
The biggest category of fake goods was food (24 per cent), followed by toys (11 per cent), cigarettes (9 per cent) and clothes (7 per cent).
The majority of counterfeit goods came from China – which also accounts for the highest overall share of imports – according to the commission. Most fake clothes came from Turkey, while the majority of counterfeit medicines reached the bloc from India.
The overall volume of counterfeit goods seized last year had declined compared to 2016, the commission noted.
Last year, the European Union’s executive presented measures to protect intellectual property rights, making it easier to act against breaches and tackle counterfeit and pirated goods being imported into the EU, it said in a statement.