Counterfeited goods seized in Greece

Greek Police has had a productive month. With a massive destruction of seized counterfeits, they are showing the counterfeiters they are a force to be reckoned with. On March 17, 2016 Hellenic Police conducted a huge raid and seizure of counterfeit goods. The Police reported appropriation of around 19 000 items, 11.517 of which were blouses, 2.918 pairs of sports shoes, 1.845 purses and bags, 1.444 pieces of underwear, and the rest was divided between pants, shirts and caps.

One person was held liable, arrested and charged with forgery, market regulation violation and trademark and unfair competition criminal offences. The raid was recorded and posted online, and the video is available here. Also, the a full report by the Police can be read here.

The raid is a part of Greece´s five-year effort to reduce distribution of counterfeit goods. The number of seized items has dropped significantly and during the last few years the statistical data has shown it to be more or less stable. What has not changed is the origin of the goods as well as the destination. Most goods come from China or Hong Kong and are heading for the Balkan countries or central Europe.

Starting 2015, the new EU Regulation concerning customs´ enforcement of intellectual property rights became applicable. The main changes concern enabling customs control to destroy items suspected to be fakes, without waiting for decision of the court, and simplifying the destruction procedure for goods of smaller value. The Regulation has resulted in a decrease of sales of counterfeit goods. The most common fakes are still cigarettes, clothing, accessories and bags.