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EU customs stop fake toys worth over €23 million

ustoms at the EU’s external borders seized counterfeit toys worth € 23.199.855 (retail value had they been genuine) last year. Toys (excluding games/electronic games) accounted for 7,63% of articles (35.940.294) detained in 2013 due to suspicion of intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement, according to a report published by the European Commission.

Catherine Van Reeth, Director General of Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), said: ‘We unfortunately know that many counterfeit toys continue to enter the EU market undetected. As a sector that prioritises children’s safety, we are above all worried that fake products can compromise safety. The manufacturers of counterfeit toys are unlikely to pay much attention to the EU’s strict toy safety rules. We therefore need effective and well-funded market surveillance and better cooperation of authorities across Europe to prevent such non-conforming toys from ending up in children’s hands. To avoid this, we advise consumers to buy quality toys from trustworthy manufacturers in reputable shops or online stores.’

China was the main source (91,90%) of fake toys detained at the EU’s border in 2013. ‘This is to be expected given that around 85% of toys imported into the EU are produced in China,’ said Catherine Van Reeth.

In 2013, the number of articles (from all product categories) seized decreased by 9,96% year by year to almost 36 million articles.The retail value of these goods, had they been genuine, would have been over €768 billion.

The European Commission’s 2013 Annual Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights is available here.