Product piracy: 2022 Record number of seizures by customs around 150% increase in counterfeit medicines
Finance Minister Magnus Brunner presents Product Piracy Report 2022
The Product Piracy Report 2022 shows once again how important it is for local customs officers to combat product piracy and trademark infringements. In 2022, the Austrian customs office recorded around 4,000 customs seizures - the second highest value ever recorded - of counterfeit products with an equivalent value of the original goods of 6.7 million Euro.
The developments regarding counterfeit and illegal medicines are also extremely alarming: With 11,691 shipments or 832,267 medicines picked up, an increase of around 150% compared to the previous year (2021: 8,210 seizures) was recorded. This is the record value since the EU Anti-Counterfeiting Regulation 2014 and the Product Piracy Act 2020 came into force.
The fact that toys that are harmful to the environment and health are still being counterfeited is particularly frightening for parents. Fortunately, the customs officers were able to prevent around 1,400 pieces from being put into circulation. Most of the counterfeits picked up in Austria are still manufactured in Asia.
With regard to the countries of destination declared in the 2022 report, Austria, with around 50% of the items picked up, is right behind the war-torn country of Ukraine, with around 23%. The plagiarisms were perfidiously declared as aid deliveries.
Finance Minister Brunner: “Counterfeiting and piracy causes serious damage to honest and law-abiding manufacturers and retailers. The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights are among the most important drivers of innovation and economic growth - two factors that are essential for our business location, especially in times like these.
In addition, the lives of consumers are also significantly endangered, particularly by counterfeit goods of inferior quality, especially in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. We cannot and do not want to stand idly by. The Product Piracy Report 2022 therefore shows once again how important the work of domestic customs officers - and their four-legged colleagues - is in this area as well."
Industrial sectors that are intensive in intellectual property rights account for around 30% of all jobs in Austria and thus create jobs for more than 1.2 million people. They are also responsible for around 44% of GDP.
According to studies by the OECD and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), counterfeit products are on the rise and their smuggling is not declining either. The important task of stopping the import of products suspected of being counterfeited is therefore the responsibility of Austrian customs on a national basis.
Photos can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/159530260@N03/albums/72177720306928482
You can find the product piracy report at https://www.bmf.gv.at/themen/zoll/produktpiraterie/produktpirateriebericht-aufgriffsstatistik.html