(CN) – EU customs agents seized 115 million knock-off products in 2011, and nearly 75 percent of the goods came from China, the European Commission said Tuesday.
The number of intercepted cases increased by 15 percent from 2010, according to the commission, which estimated the value of seized goods at $1.6 billion.
Counterfeit medicine accounted for nearly a quarter of all goods seized in 2011, as well as 36 percent of all mail packages detained in the EU.
Products for daily use and items that could consumer health and safety accounted for 29 percent of items detained by customs agents, compared with 15 percent in 2010.
“Customs is the EU’s first line of defense against fake products which threaten the safety of our citizens and undermine legal businesses,” said Algirdas Semeta, commissioner for taxation, customs, anti-fraud and audit. “Today’s report shows the intensity and importance of the work being done by Customs in this field. I will continue to push for even greater protection of intellectual property rights in Europe, through our work with international partners, the industry and member states.”
While China continued to dominate the infringement of intellectual property rights, other countries remain the prime sources of pirated goods in other categories, the commission said.
Turkey leads for imposter foodstuffs, Panama for alcoholic drinks, Thailand for soft drinks and Hong Kong for mobile phones, according to the commission’s report .
The commission added that 90 percent of the seized products were either destroyed or retained as evidence to determine the infringement.