GENEVA — China remained the main source of counterfeit goods in the European Union last year, with almost 60 percent of all articles seized by Customs officials originating there, a report by the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc said.

This story first appeared in the May 27, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The report shows that the apparel and accessories segment accounted for 61 percent of total seizures last year and included 17.7 million counterfeit articles, which represented 22 percent of total items seized, up 24 percent from 2006. Within this segment, the report shows that ready-to-wear accounted for 11,030 cases registered by Customs authorities and included the seizure of five million articles, up 16 percent on 2006, with China the source for nearly 63 percent of the items impounded. Turkey accounted for 10 percent, and Vietnam, for 4.5 percent.

Similarly, the EU report shows that sportswear accounted for 3,255 Customs seizure cases and the capture of 1.4 million articles, up 19 percent on the previous year, of which 55.6 percent of the counterfeits originated in China and 19.4 percent in Turkey. The Customs data show that accessories accounted for 6,547 seizures, or nearly 15 of the total in the apparel and accessories segment, and resulted in the seizure of 6.2 million items, up 29 percent from 2006. About 57 percent of the counterfeit accessories seized originated in China, while 17.5 percent came from Italy and 11.6 percent from Turkey.

The report also shows a 264 percent increase last year in the capture of counterfeit cosmetics and personal care items. The main source for the fake cosmetics was the nation of Georgia, with 32 percent, followed by Turkey, with 29 percent; China, with 16 percent; Singapore, with 5.6 percent, and South Korea, with 4.3 percent.

In the fake jewelry category, China was the main origin source, with 52 percent, followed by Italy, with 36 percent, and Hong Kong, with 5.7 percent.

Overall, in 2007 the total number of seizure cases registered reached 43,000, up 17 percent on the 2006 total of 37,000, the report said.

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