The number of products suspected of violating intellectual property rights detained by EU Customs has constantly increased, reaching the number of 115 million in 2011. According to the Commission’s annual report, these products represented almost 1.3 billion €. This is an essential issue for businesses who, for many of them, see the situation getting worse year after year.
In this context, our members were looking forward to listening to the intervention of Commissioner Semeta, who has been since 2010 responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud. In his speech, the Commissioner first focused on the state of things and the role of the European Commission in its fight against IPR infringements. Then, Commissioner Semeta told our members about all the European initiatives launched in order to settle the matter. He touched upon different aspects of the problem, and gave the example of the very tough fight of the tobacco industry against counterfeiting – remembering the audience that, in the EU, 50% of illegal cigarettes seized are counterfeit products.
Over breakfast, participants entered the conversation with Commissioner Semeta, asking him various questions and showing their deep concern on the capacities of the industry and the EU to better protect Intellectual Property Rights.
Speaker: Algirdas Semeta, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud
Topic: Preventing IPR infringements at EU borders: the role of EU customs legislation
Thursday 27 September 2012