EU:12% RISE IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS SEIZED

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EU:12% RISE IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS SEIZED

 user 2005-10-12 at 10:49:00 am Views: 55
  • #14101

    EU Says 12% Rise in Counterfeit Goods Seized Is Growing Threat
    Oct. 05 — The European
    Union is seeking faster communication among customs agents as a 12
    percent rise in seizures of counterfeit goods last year shows a growing
    threat to companies such as Nokia Oyj, Sony Corp. and Hewlett-Packard
    Co.
    The European Commission today proposed an electronic system to
    instantly notify customs agencies of captures throughout the 25- nation
    EU. The plan would thwart counterfeiters who now shift products between
    entry points more quickly than authorities can alert colleagues, the
    commission said in Brussels.
    Product piracy costs companies $450 billion a year in lost sales,
    according to the World Economic Forum. The problem is worsening as
    counterfeit makers shift from luxury items to consumer goods in higher
    volumes, as shown by customs seizures of 103 million counterfeit
    brand-name items in 2004, the commission said.
    “It is increasingly difficult to reveal the counterfeit nature of the
    product,” Customs Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs said to reporters. Before
    him stood a display of seized goods including fakes of a Nokia mobile
    phone, Sony microphone and Hewlett- Packard printer cartridge.
    The commission, the EU’s executive branch, is pushing to establish a
    task force of customs experts to improve operations as early as next
    month. The EU agency further plans to convene a working group of
    business representatives to advise authorities on spotting fakes. The
    commission today also called for more cooperation with airlines and
    shipping companies to halt the transit of counterfeits.
    China Visit
    Kovacs said he is going next month to China, the origin of 70 percent
    of counterfeit goods seized in the EU, to inaugurate an anti-piracy
    cooperation accord with the government there. The commission plans to
    seek similar agreements with India, Pakistan, Thailand, plus other
    countries in Asia and elsewhere.
    Past efforts for more coordination among customs agents are being
    overtaken as counterfeit manufacturers and traders grow more
    sophisticated, the commission said. Internet-based sales are a rising
    source of such goods and accounted for 30 percent of items seized in
    the post.
    Clothing, cigarettes, movies and music remain some of the
    most-counterfeited goods. Still, the agency warned that increasing
    piracy of medicine, foodstuffs and children’s toys represent a new risk
    to health. Organized crime and terrorist organizations reap many of the
    gains, the commission said.