FESI welcomes new EU trademarks legislation, calls on customs to seize counterfeit goods in transit

FESI welcomes today’s vote in the European Parliament adopting new EU trademark legislation, strengthening the possibility for customs throughout the EU to act against counterfeit goods.

Over the last years, the number of seized counterfeit items has dropped dramatically (from almost 115 million in 2011 to 35.5 million in 2014). This is caused by several reasons. Firstly, counterfeits are increasingly imported through small packages following online sales, making it more difficult to seize large quantities. Secondly, the EU’s trademark law was outdated to deal with ‘tricks’ used by counterfeiters, such as declaring that goods are in transit through the EU and not destined for the EU market. As a result, customs had stopped seizing counterfeits in transit through the EU.

Over the last years, FESI has campaigned for improved EU Trademark legislation. “The new EU Trademark Directive and Regulation adopted by the European Parliament today provides customs throughout the EU with the possibility to seize counterfeits in transit”, FESI Secretary General Alberto Bichi stated. “It is now of utmost importance that Customs will use their strengthened competences so we can effectively step-up the fight against counterfeiting and protect our brands”, he added.

A recent study of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) shows that €26.3 billion of revenue is lost annually due to counterfeit clothing, footwear and accessories, including sport clothing and footwear. Moreover, a similar study showed that counterfeit sports equipment, such as footballs, helmets, golf clubs, tennis rackets and skis, cost the industry €500 million every year.