According to a European Commission report, nearly 73% of counterfeit goods intercepted by EU customs came from China.
The 31-page annual report stated that they found 115 million Chinese counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics – worth 1.3 billion euros. The figures increased 15% over the previous year. European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told the FT, “The EU continues to work closely with member states and international partners, to defend interests of legal businesses and the safety of the citizens”.
Mr. Todd warned that the counterfeit products may contain harmful chemicals. Almost a quarter of the goods were “lifestyle drugs”, such as diet pills and Viagra. Pain killers, antidepressants and antibiotics were also among the seized medicines. Director-general of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Richard Bergstrom, said the surge of counterfeited medicines “raises great concern in terms of public health and patient safety”.
The EU implemented tighter regulations on counterfeiting such as harsher penalties against perpetrators and requiring EU countries to destroy all seized goods. China did not respond for any comment on the issue.