Detention cases up as EU customs seizes €617m worth of goods

09 November 2015. Published by Ben Mark, Partner

According to the "Report on EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 2014" published by the European Commission, there has been a rise in the number of interceptions of infringing goods by customs at external EU borders.

In 2014 there were over 95,000 detention cases which represents a 10% increase on 2013.

It is interesting to note that:

  • The types of detained articles continuing to top the list are cigarettes, toys and medicines, but foodstuffs has made its way into the top 6.
  • China has remained the primary source of infringing goods with 80% of articles seized originating there.
  • In over 92% of cases, the detained articles were either destroyed or a court case was initiated by the right-holder to establish the IPR infringement.

The report also states that small consignments now account for 81% of all detentions. This perhaps goes some way to explain why the domestic retail value of the detained articles has decreased to €617m notwithstanding the number of detention cases having increased. It also suggests the customs interceptions are having an impact and so infringers are reducing consignment sizes in an attempt to avoid detection.

Please click here to access the full report.

For more information about the report or any other anti-counterfeiting or anti-piracy related issue, please contact Ben Mark ( or David Cran (

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