Over three million counterfeit toys were detained for suspected intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements by EU customs officials over the course of 2014.
The toys, which accounted for 10% of all articles detained at the EU’s external borders, would have had a retail value of €24,435,972 had they been real, according to a report published by the European Commission.
Catherine Van Reeth, Director General of Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), said “Reputable companies invest heavily to make sure their toys are safe for children to play with. Producers of fake toys look to cut costs, often by ignoring the relevant safety standards. This is not just about respect for IPR but more importantly it’s about ensuring only safe toys reach children. We fully support the efforts of EU customs to stop these goods at the EU’s borders. We call for even more and better border controls as well as effective and well-funded market surveillance to prevent fake toys from ending up in children’s hands. We advise consumers to always buy quality toys from trustworthy manufacturers in reputable shops and online stores.”
The main source of detained toys in 2014 was China (97.76%) followed by Hong Kong (2.14%). Across all product categories, China was the source of 80.08% of suspected IPR infringements in 2014.
Whilst there was a 9.06% increase in the number of detention cases for all products compared to 2013, there was a slight drop (371,312) in the number of articles from all categories seized. The cost on the EU for IPR infringements is high—had they been genuine, the retail value of these goods would have been over €617 billion.
The full report can be found here.