EU Warns against Piracy Sourcing from Bulgaria, Romania

Politics | February 10, 2005, Thursday // 00:00

In countries such as Bulgaria and Romania there has been a drastic increase in cases of counterfeiting and piracy, EU Customs Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs announced and warned authorities of these states to take urgent measures.

He said that EU had information of at least three fuel stations in both countries branded illegally as British Petroleum.

The mostly coveted products for counterfeiting, Kovacs told journalists in Brussels, are cigarettes, CDs and DVDs, toys, cosmetics and Viagra. Still, products of all kinds "from apples to waffles, sweets, alcohol, and everything that can be sold or bought", have been potential subject to piracy.

EU Commissioner reminded that counterfeit products were a threat for the citizens' health and security and also contributed to the unemployment.

Some EU countries have seen large increases on the number of goods seized in the period 2002-2003, as about 70 % of the total of counterfeit goods are seized by world's customs authorities.

In Belgium the figure rose by 213%, in the UK by 147%. On the other hand, Portugal, Italy and Denmark, had the biggest decreases.

Many products are believed to come from non-EU countries with China representing 60% of the counterfeit production. As the routes change constantly in order to disguise the production sites, it is difficult to determine the real origin of counterfeit goods, or to have stable figures, Kovacs pointed out.

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