The European Commission published on 19 September figures showing that the number of interceptions of fake goods being imported into the EU increased in 2018, due to a rise in small packages entering the Union through online sales.

Almost 27 million articles that infringed on intellectual property rights with a street value of nearly €740 million were detained in 2018, making the number of seized goods jump to 69,354 from 57,433 in 2017.

Cigarettes accounted for 15% of the overall amount of detained articles, followed by toys (14%), packaging material (9%), labels, tags and stickers (9%) and clothing (8%).

China continued to be the main source country for goods infringing intellectual property rights, while North Macedonia was the top source for counterfeit alcoholic beverages. Cambodia was the main source for cigarettes.

According to a previous study, direct sales losses for EU businesses due to counterfeit goods amount to €56 billion per year.