As became known at the end of 2021, customs officials in France achieved notable successes against the trade in counterfeit goods last year. In several actions, the authorities seized a total of more than 1.5 million items before Christmas. This included a spectacular seizure of hundreds of thousands of products identified as counterfeit by well-known manufacturers of video games and anime. Customs investigators had initially identified almost 850,000 counterfeits in warehouses for online retailers at the end of February 2021, based on investigations by the Direction Nationale du Renseignement et des Enquêtes Douanières (DNRED). This eventually resulted in a second operation by French customs in cooperation with five other EU countries and Europol in October and November 2021, during which the authorities seized around 520,000 more counterfeits. The counterfeits can also pose a health and safety risk, as the NF and CE markings, choking hazard warnings and age restriction logos, among other things, were missing on the counterfeit articles.
Olivier Dussopt, Secretary of State of the French government (ministre délégué chargé des Comptes publics), praised the European cooperation that made the international action possible. And stressed the importance of fighting counterfeiting: "I congratulate the customs officials for these remarkable seizures, which demonstrate the government's will to fight counterfeiting. This fight is an important priority for French customs."
In November 2021, further seizures of counterfeit goods by customs in France had already become public: For example, customs officials in Blagnac in the Occitanie region of southern France seized around 16,000 counterfeit telephone and automotive items in the region. The seized counterfeits included about 13,000 fake telephone components, about 1,200 fake batteries and about 1,000 fake car keys. Well-known brands such as Samsung and Apple as well as Mercedes, Peugeot and Volkswagen were affected. In Le Havre in north-western France, customs investigators also prevented the import of a total of 11,000 capacitors with counterfeit CE markings in October 2021.
Ministère de l'economie des finances et de la relance
Article in cooperation with the Anti-Piracy Analyst, issue June 2022