EU reports growth in fake goods from China

Pirated DVDs on sale in Madrid - file pic Creative industries are battling to prevent the spread of pirated CDs and DVDs

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An EU report says 64% of fake or pirated goods seized in the 27-nation bloc last year came from China - a 10% increase on 2008.

Clothing was the biggest category of goods seized at 27%, while the amount of illegal CDs, DVDs and electrical goods seized showed a marked decline.

The economic downturn accounted for a fall in customs interventions.

Black market cigarettes, fake labels and counterfeit medicines were common contraband, the EU says.

There were significant quantities of contraband shampoos, toothpaste, toys, medicines or household appliances that could pose a health hazard, the European Commission report said on Thursday.

In all, customs officials intervened in more than 43,500 cases last year, seizing 118 million articles.

The commission said that in the past luxury goods were the most susceptible to intellectual property right (IPR) infringements, but "more and more items used by citizens in their daily lives are now affected".

Cigarettes accounted for 19% of the products seized, other tobacco products 16%, labels 13% and medicines 10%.

More than 77% of all detained products were destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine the infringement.

Of the goods seized, 38% were flown into the EU and 34% entered the EU by post.

The main origin of contraband food and drink was Turkey, while for medicines it was the United Arab Emirates and for toys and games it was Egypt.

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