Friday, 27 July 2012

EU helps to keep it real

"Got a real bargain when I bought this Louis Vuitton wallet for 10 euro". Well, who doesn't like a bargain? Some bargains are too good to be true, though, and it's unlikely that you would get an original product for price that is not anywhere close to the shop price. With certain products a bargain is also not what consumers should be looking for. Spending more money on a product usually guarantees its better quality, its authenticity, which is crucial for the health and safety of consumers when products such as medicines, food etc. are concerned. In order to protect consumers, as well as to protect intellectual property rights, the EU Customs department diligently examines products entering the EU market in order to comply with the EU's 2020 Strategy. In 2011, they detained almost 115 million products suspected of violating IPR (in 2010 that number was just 103 million) valued at 1,3 billion euro. (Report on EU customs enforcement of IPR) Out of these products 24% were medicines, 21% packaging material, 18% cigarettes, products for daily use that could potentially be dangerous to consumers - 28,6%. The main offender is still China (73% of all infringing articles come from there). Fake foodstuff comes usually from Turkey, alcoholic drinks - Panama, soft drinks - Thailand, mobile phones - Hong Kong. (EU customs detain over 100 million fake goods at EU borders)

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