Toys, caps … and chocolate eggs: the counterfeit goods seized by customs

Wines and spirits may be among the top counterfeit goods trying to reach Malta’s markets … but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t try to import fake chocolate eggs

Beware of fake chocolate...
Beware of fake chocolate...

A European Union Intellectual Property study has calculated that Malta looses €43 million every year as a result of counterfeit products. This also translates into over 530 direct jobs losses.

The study showed that wines and spirits surpassed EU average – but this doesn’t mean that someone won’t try and get creative on possible importation of fake goods … or use Malta as a transit point.

In recent weeks, the Malta Customs Department seized over 16 containers carrying counterfeit goods in separate instances. They were seized by Customs Officials as screened containers transiting through the Freeport or entering the European Union.

From the containers, thousands of counterfeit goods were seized including:

69,142 pairs of sports shoes; 12,137 pairs of shoes; 18,600 caps; 1,560 bags; 2,666 pieces of toys; and 492,480 chocolate eggs.

The items featured branding by popular brands.

The Customs Department said that the counterfeit market was worth billions, which promoted slavery and child labour.

Counterfeit items, which may include food and beverage items, contain harmful toxins and chemicals and do not comply with health and safety legislation, thus posing a serious threat to the health of consumers.

Through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, the EU estimated the over €48 billion – or 7.4% of all sales – is lost every year in nine sectors due to the presence of fake goods in the marketplace.

Every year, an additional €35 billion is lost across the EU economy due to the indirect effects of counterfeiting and piracy, as manufacturers buy fewer goods and services from suppliers, causing knock-on effects in other areas.

The nine most affected sectors are: cosmetics and personal care; clothing, footwear and accessories; sports goods; toys and games; jewellery and watches; handbags; recorded music; spirits and wine; and pharmaceuticals.

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