Manufacturers of trademarked commodities invest a lot of money in development, technology, advertising, production and distribution until the product may finally be offered on the market. With his name the brand manufacturer will guarantee for good quality. The name and the logo (brand) of the company are supposed to be a mark for quality.
Quality is a popular trading item which has a certain
On increasing demand for brand products by the consumers, the number of forgeries and piracy is increasing, too. These are products which are illegally marked with names or signs and the look of which is a wilful deception of consumers about the origin and quality. The majority of these products infringing protective rights come to the European Community from third countries. The control of this illegal goods traffic crossing the border is the duty of Customs authorities.
Counterfeit and pirated products must generally not be brought into economic circulation. Without any exception, this applies to commercial consignments. There is a sole exemption according to private usage.
In passenger traffic, counterfeit products will not be seized by customs authorities in the following cases:
- there is no commercial character
- the counterfeit products are located in the personal baggage of the passenger
- the value of all products brought along does not exceed
- EUR 430 for air and/or sea travellers
- EUR 300 for other travellers
- EUR 175 for travellers under 15 years of age
In passenger traffic there should be - as far as nature and quantity of counterfeit goods, the person involved or other circumstances - no indication for the forgery being intended for commercial purposes. If there is any indication of commercial character, the goods will be seized.
In practice, there is often the problem as from what quantity or value on the goods have a commercial character. No definite rules may be set up for that. On the contrary, the customs officer must find a new decision for each and any single consignment. This shall be based on the specific findings in the relevant single case.
Each counterfeit product will be seized if the value of the whole shipment exceeds the above mentioned value limits.
There is no exception in postal traffic. Even one single counterfeit product can be seized.
Please note the following:
- To make a lot of money, plagiarists and counterfeiters misappropriate other people's creative works
- Brand and product piracy belongs to the field of economic crime.
- Plagiarism and forgery may be a health hazard for the consumer (spare parts for cars, medicines, defective electronic or badly worked toys).
- You will not get any guarantee for forgery.
- Trade in plagiarism and forgery threatens small and medium-sized companies' very existence.
- Product and brand piracy threaten jobs, maybe even yours.
For questions concerning the importation and exportation of forged brand products, please contact:
- Zentralstelle Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz,
- the central Customs Information Centre
- or local customs offices.