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After record seizures in 2023, the government announces a new plan to fight counterfeiting

2024-03-02T13:44:21.227Z

Highlights: After record seizures in 2023, the government announces a new plan to fight counterfeiting. The number of seizures almost doubled last year, with 20.5 million items removed from the market. A network of 70 specially trained “ cybercustoms officers ” will be deployed to track counterfeits on the internet. “We are seeing a form of “ made in France ” emerging from counterfeiting,” underlined Thomas Cazenave, Minister for Public Accounts.


The number of seizures almost doubled last year, with 20.5 million items removed from the market, compared to 11.5 million in 2022.


After a

“record”

year in 2023 in terms of seizures, the executive wants to continue its momentum in its merciless fight against counterfeiting, particularly with a view to the Olympic Games.

The Minister for Public Accounts, Thomas Cazenave, presented a new government anti-counterfeiting plan on Friday in Aulnay-sous Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis).

New, because this follows on from a first plan, launched in 2021, which

“undeniably constitutes a success”

, welcomed Thomas Cazenave.

In 2023, the number of seizures has almost doubled, with 20.5 million items withdrawn from the French market, compared to 11.5 million in 2022 (and 9 million in 2021).

Counterfeiting, however, continues to develop, even taking on new forms.

“Offenders are structuring themselves into networks and adopting practices similar to those observed in other major trafficking areas such as tobacco and narcotics

,” noted the Minister Delegate.

In particular, small workshops assembling counterfeit products are appearing in the countries of the European Union.

“We are seeing a form of “

made in France

” emerging from counterfeiting

,” underlined Thomas Cazenave.

“We must therefore strengthen our responses and adapt it to this new threat

,” he said.

Hence the detailed combat plan this Friday,

“oriented towards the identification and dismantling of organized fraud networks”

, and no longer just towards seizures.

For example, the government says it wants to

“strengthen cooperation between those involved in the fight against fraud”

, in particular state services, the police, the gendarmerie and the Fraud Repression Department (DGCCRF).

The goal: to carry out joint “punch”

operations

to dismantle fraud networks, like the operations carried out in the fight against narcotics.

“Particularly in the pre-Olympic Games period, where there is a risk of increasing sales of counterfeit products

,” explained Thomas Cazenave.

Also read: Counterfeits, fraud… These risks looming over the nuclear industry

Identifying counterfeiting “hot spots”

It is still necessary to identify, beforehand, the areas in which counterfeiters source and store their products.

What the executive intends to tackle, by mapping the

“hot spots”

of counterfeiting.

In this, he counts on the help of local residents.

Before the Olympics, a web platform will be created allowing everyone to report points of sale of counterfeit products.

The other major pillar of this plan concerns the fight against counterfeiting on the internet, with online commerce having

“become a


favored vector for the propagation of counterfeit goods” , points out the government, in particular via

dropshipping

sites

.

A network of 70 specially trained

cybercustoms officers

will be deployed to track counterfeits on the internet.

These web customs officers will be invited in particular to use their new power of

digital injunction

, created by the law of July 18, 2023, which allows them to summon the operators of online platforms to be more vigilant regarding the products accessible on their Site (s.

“They will also be able to ask a platform to delist a seller of counterfeit products, carry out surveys under a pseudonym on social networks, and go as far as the act of purchase to note the infringement

,” explained Thomas Cazenave.

Read also Counterfeiting costs 16 billion euros per year in Europe, according to the EU

Discussions with e-commerce platforms

On this digital aspect, the State would like to be helped more by large e-commerce sites, such as Amazon.

Customs will therefore embark on

“a phase of structuring information exchanges with major online commerce platforms based on cooperation protocols”

, in particular to combat the proliferation of counterfeit announcements, exchange information or even have seller accounts closed.

“Discussions have already started with the major platforms, I am hopeful that they will be successful

,” said Thomas Cazenave.

A challenge taken head-on by the minister, judging that counterfeiting is

“a triple penalty”

 :

“It is an economic scourge which penalizes our businesses and our public finances, with tax revenues which do not come in”

. lamented the Minister of Public Accounts.

There is also

“a security issue, because counterfeiting finances criminal, mafia and terrorist networks”

.

Finally,

“it is a health scourge, because most products do not respect environmental and health standards”

.

Especially since the first category of counterfeit goods seized in 2023 concerns games and toys for children and sporting goods (8.6 million items seized).

Source: lefigaro

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