After seizing upwards of $1.8 million in fake Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Michael Kors, Porsche, and BMW goods originating from China in January and February, Romanian and Hungarian customs officials have taken possession of additional shipments of counterfeit Louis Vuitton, adidas, and Ralph Lauren goods. In their latest attempt to crack down on the importation of counterfeit goods, the respective customs organizations in Bucharest and Artand, a town on the Hungary-Romania border, seized roughly $300,000 worth of garments, bags, watches and wallets bearing the luxury brands' trademarks, as well as imitation FC Barcelona and AC Milan football jerseys.
ROMANIA'S BOOMING COUNTERFEIT MARKET
In recent years, the global trade in counterfeit goods has boomed, affecting the proper functioning of the European Union market, and leading to a need for enhanced anti-counterfeiting policies, particularly in transit countries where such goods enter the EU market.Recent developments in the region, particularly in Romania, where it was estimated in 2013 that around 50 percent of so-called "brand-name" products being sold are counterfeit in nature, illustrate the damaging effect of the absence of effective anti-counterfeiting strategies on both market activities and consumers.
Identifying the origin of counterfeit goods is a complex issue for Romanian Customs, since it requires a high level of vigilance and constant protection of the border against potential counterfeit products, mainly originating from Asian countries such as China, as well as Turkey.
Customs proceedings and actions have become relatively effective means of blocking counterfeit products from entering the Romanian market, as Customs has started to take a proactive role in enforcing IP rights at the national borders. Rights holders, such as Louis Vuitton, adidas, and Ralph Lauren, seeking intervention by Customs must file an application to record each relevant intellectual property registration. This allows Customs to seize any goods suspected of infringing the recorded rights when they are imported into or exported from Romania. Once the counterfeit goods are seized, the owner must file for civil or criminal proceedings.