Bulgaria Seized More Than 600,000 Fake Goods at Its Borders for 2016
Bulgaria seized 638 248 fake goods - articles violating intellectual property rights - at its borders in 2016, a number that is about the half the amount the country confiscated in 2015, according to a report released by the European Commission on July 20, quoted by the Independent Balkan News Agency.
There was also a decrease in the number of cases of fake goods in Bulgaria, from 497 in 2015 to 436 in 2016, a drop of about 12%, according to figures in the report.
The report showed that China was by far in the lead in fake goods coming into the EU - customs officers in the bloc seized more than 5.6 million toys, about 22% of the total toys confiscated at the EU borders, as well as 4.6 million Chinese-made cigarettes (about 18 per cent) and more than 4.4 million items of food coming from China.
In all, the EC report showed that customs authorities detained more than 41 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU's external border in 2016. The goods had a total value of over EUR 670 million.
Everyday products which are potentially dangerous to health and safety – such as food and drink, medicines, toys and household electrical goods - accounted for over a third of all intercepted goods.
Cigarettes were the top category (24%) for articles detained and toys the second largest group (17%), followed by foodstuffs (13%) and packaging material (12%). The number of intercepted articles rose by two per cent compared to 2015.
China remains the clear leader when it comes to the provenance of fake goods: 80% of articles arrived from China in 2016, the EC said.
Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: "A high level of protection of intellectual property is crucial to support growth and create jobs.''
"Fake goods pose a real threat to health and safety of EU consumers and also undermine legal businesses and state revenues. Studies show that the EU is particularly exposed to imports of counterfeit products'', he added.