The European Commission reported almost 90,000 detention cases were registered by European Union Customs in 2012, reflecting a continuation of the trend of the high number of shipments suspected of violating intellectual property rights.
The high number of detentions reflected the high number of small parcels in express and postal traffic, probably as a result of Internet sales, according to the EC.
Almost 40 million articles were detained, which, in terms of the value of the equivalent genuine products, is estimated to be just below €1 billion (about US$1.3 billion). Cigarettes were at the top of the list, accounting for 31 percent of the detained articles, followed by other goods, such as bottles, lamps, blue batteries and washing powder, as well as packaging materials. Products for daily use, including body care articles, medicines, toys and electrical household goods, accounted for 12.7 percent of the total number of detained articles.
China continued to be the main source country for counterfeit goods were shipped to the EU, but for certain product sectors, other countries were the chief source, such as Morocco for foodstuffs or Hong Kong for other tobacco products like electronic cigarettes and their liquid fillings.