/ Created by Ulrike Alice Ulrich

For a Strong Economy: The Work of German Customs

Border seizure and further measures against counterfeiting and piracy

Düsseldorf, 28 August 2018 – Brand and product piracy costs the German economy several billion euros every year. The fact that the damage is not far greater is primarily due to German customs: According to their own statistics, the authorities seized almost 3.3 million goods with a total value of almost 200 million euros in 2017. 80 percent of the goods seized were counterfeit branded products. Almost 70 percent of the goods came from the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. According to the authorities, clothing, shoes and personal accessories such as handbags, sunglasses or jewelry are most frequently counterfeited. Combatting brand and product piracy is a core task of German customs authorities, for which they uses effective import and export controls at Germany's borders. Companies wishing to make full use of this service can submit a so-called "border seizure application" to the Central Office for Intellectual Property Rights of the customs authority in Munich. Together with the application, it is also possible to provide customs with special training. The law firm Cohausz & Florack (C&F) regularly conducts such training courses on behalf of its clients. "This is where we sensitize border guards for certain products and possible counterfeits," says Ulrike Alice Ulrich, attorney and partner at C&F. Companies that feel their products are at risk can also inform customs about particularly suspicious senders. Their imported goods will then be examined more intensively. With their measures against brand and product piracy, the German customs authorities promote Germany as a business location. In addition, they also take measures against undeclared work, illegal employment and drug-related crime and are committed to preserving biodiversity in Germany.