Italy stepped up fight against fake goods in 2013
by FFE EU News Staff
The financial crime-busters Italian Finance Police (Guardia di Finanza) revealed on Monday that they have confiscated €130m in counterfeit products in 2013. This is 25% more than 2012 figures.
The finance police said they were able to report 9,445 people, including 252 suspected of racketeering for organisations dedicated to making and selling fake goods. The agency also reported they were able to carry out 11,000 operations for the year or around 30 a day.
Italy has long struggled with control over counterfeit items in their market, which include products particular to their country like apparel and food. The black market depends on tourists and other buyers looking for a bargain on Italian goods.
Last August, around 320,000 fake luxury handbags and accessories were seized in a number of police operations in northern Italy. Some of the products seized were labelled with Italy’s top brands, including Prada, D&G and Fendi.
Despite receiving top rates for the quality of its food, Italy is also struggling with food fraud as dubious manufacturers sell their products with the valued ‘Made in Italy’ label. In December, members of the farmers’ group Coldiretti marched pigs outside the parliament as a sign of protest against unfair competition by non-Italian meat producers.
Italian farmers cry foul over ‘Made in Italy’ products with unclear origins
The European Commission (EC) meanwhile recognises the threat of counterfeit goods in EU economies and vows to fight them off. The EC said counterfeit products are harmful to economic growth, pose an issue to health and safety and put jobs in jeopardy. In a bid to intensify its fight against counterfeiting in the EU, the EC launched the ‘Stop Fakes’ campaign yesterday in Rome.
Stop Fakes is a pan-European campaign that aims to raise greater awareness against counterfeit goods. During the conference, EU member states and stakeholders outlined their agendas to stop counterfeiting in the EU region.
EU Enterprise explains why counterfeit goods should be everyone’s concern