EU Issues Annual Report on Customs IPR Enforcement

Aug 24 2010 - 10:55

On July 22, 2010, the European Commission published its annual report on customs detentions at the European Union (EU) borders in 2009. The report contains statistics based on the data submitted by the EU member states and covers the customs activities, the quantities, categories and origins of detained goods and the types of infringed intellectual property rights.

According to the report, in 2009 the customs administrations in the member states intervened in 43,572 cases, approximately 6,000 less than in 2008. The total number of items suspected of infringing IP rights and detained at the EU borders decreased to approximately 118,000,000; in 2008, approximately 178,000,000 articles were reported.

In Bulgaria and Romania, in 2009 the number of customs interventions decreased, while the number of detained articles increased. In Bulgaria there were 1,686 interventions in 2008 compared to 1,232 in 2009. The number of detained articles, however, increased from 5,500,154 in 2008 to 11,335,030 in 2009. In Romania, the number of interventions decreased from 284 in 2008 to 182 in 2009, while the number of detained articles increased from 2,731,117 in 2008 to 7,728,945 in 2009.

Overall in the EU, the counterfeit goods were destroyed in 47 percent of the cases, while in 12 percent of the cases the goods were released, either because they were found to be non-infringing or because the right holders did not react to the official notifications within the prescribed time limits.

The top categories of detained goods follow the pattern of the previous years with cigarettes contributing to 19 percent of the total number of seized goods, followed by other tobacco products (16 percent), labels, tags and emblems (13 percent) and medicines (8 percent).

China remained the main origin of counterfeit items, with 64 percent of the seized goods coming from China, followed by Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Regarding the types of goods seized, China is the main origin of tobacco, clothing, shoes, mobile phones and electrical and computer equipment, Turkey is the main origin of food and alcoholic beverages, while the UAE is the main origin of medicines.

Most of the detained goods were shipped by sea (88,500,000), air (18,000,000) and by road (7,400,000). In 2008, the same means of transport occupied the first three positions. The report also mentions that the number of cases of postal transport is increasing.

The majority of the articles, namely 90.05 percent, were suspected of infringing a Community or national trademark, 4.99 percent concerned patents and 3.57 percent copyright and related rights.

For more information, please contact Roxana Sarghi at our Romania office.

Source: European Commission

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