Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit perfumes, cosmetics and toys seized by border guards in 11 months in 2021

In the first 11 months of 2021, the Romanian Border Police, together with other competent authorities, carried out actions to detect those who are concerned about trafficking in counterfeit products, acting mainly at border crossing points, but also in the border area, finding facts of infringement of the intellectual property rights regime, mainly upon entering Romania .

As a result of these actions, the border police detected  307 criminal acts . During the period under review, counterfeit goods bearing the protected international trade marks were confiscated – independently or in collaboration with customs workers, as follows:

  • 103,391 pieces of clothing and underwear;
  • 19,853 pairs of shoes;
  • 122,850 pieces of cosmetics and perfumery;
  • 2,844 pieces of leather goods;
  • 404,000 pieces of writing instruments;
  • 24,000 pieces of electronic cigarettes;
  • 10,313 pieces of telephone accessories;
  • 283,321 pieces of toys.

Also, during the reference period, hundreds of thousands of various other items that could be counterfeited, consisting of tools, implements or household products, etc., were seized in order to be confiscated.

In the same period in 2020, more than 32,000 cosmetics and perfumery products and 14,000 pieces of toys were discovered, and in 2021 there were considerable increases in the confiscation of these products, compared to the same period last year.

In all cases, the goods were confiscated and sent for examination to the trademark owner.

From the case recorded in the last year, it was found that the citizens involved in these illegal activities came mainly from Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova.

  From the analysis of the criminal phenomenon, it results that the  routes used  for the introduction of counterfeit goods in Romania are:           

  • China-Romania – at sea,
  • Turkey-Romania.

The border policemen found that most of the cases were detected at the Romanian-Bulgarian border, in the area of ​​competence of ITPF Giurgiu, being products brought from Turkey, for Romania or Western European countries.

Also, a significant amount of products likely to infringe the intellectual property rights of some well-known brands was discovered in the seaports of Constanţa County, the imports being made through Romanian companies, which bring consumer goods from China in the system. containerized.

From the recorded cases, it was also found that  the most frequently counterfeit products  are those with high added value and a high sales rate (cosmetics, toys, car spare parts, glass products, ceramics, textiles, sports shoes, watches, software, mobile phones).

Please note that counterfeit goods cannot be valued (they are worthless goods), they will be destroyed after detention, in accordance with the legal provisions.

In the case of persons found by border guards attempting to smuggle or smuggle counterfeit products into the country, investigations shall be carried out into the offense of “unlawfully putting into circulation a product bearing a trademark identical or similar to the registered trademark.” for identical or similar products ”deed provided and punished by art. 90, para.1, lit. b of Law 84/1998, with subsequent amendments and completions.

In view of the damage caused to the state budget, the Romanian Border Police will continue to undertake, together with the other competent institutions, firm measures in all areas of competence, in order to detect and sanction persons involved in trafficking in counterfeit goods, as well as detention, for confiscation of trafficked goods.

Of the significant cases recorded since the beginning of the year to date, we recall the following:

Fake perfumes, worth 2 million euros, discovered in a Turkish truck, in Călărași. They were hidden among the building materials

On 20.07.2021, on the basis of the joint action plan to prevent and combat tax evasion and customs fraud, border guards together with customs officers carried out a search of a road complex, run by a 39-year-old Turkish citizen. years. According to the accompanying documents, the driver was transporting construction materials from Turkey, for a company from Romania.
As there were suspicions about the transported goods, the border guards together with the customs officers carried out a thorough control.
Thus, the joint control team discovered, hidden among the construction materials, several boxes containing 33,200 perfumery items, bearing the insignia of well-known brands, being likely to be counterfeit.
The goods, amounting to approximately EUR 2 000,000 if they had been marketed as branded products, were seized for further investigation, and in that case investigations were carried out under the guise of committing the offense of ‘putting into circulation a product bearing a trademark identical or similar to a trademark for identical or similar products ”, at the end of which the required legal measures will be taken.

Insecticide bottles, worth over 200,000 lei, likely to be counterfeit, confiscated at PTF Călăraşi

On 15.07.2021, around 13.00, the border guards from the Călăraşi Border Crossing Point carried out, on the way to enter the country, the specific control over a road complex, driven by a Turkish citizen, aged 68 years old. According to the documents, he was transporting energy drink and insecticide from Turkey to a company in Romania.
Having suspicions regarding the transported goods, the border policemen requested the support of the customs workers from the Calarasi Customs Office for the opening of the means of transport. Thus, following the thorough checks performed, the control authorities found that the insecticide bottles are marked with the name of a known company, which may be counterfeit.
Carrying out their inventory together with representatives of the General Directorate of Customs, resulted in the total amount of 16,800 bottles of insecticide, which could infringe the intellectual property right.
The goods, worth approximately 201,600 lei if they had been sold as branded products, were made unavailable by the border guards at the STPF Călăraşi headquarters.
Investigations were carried out against the person in question under the aspect of committing the crime of “putting into circulation some products bearing an identical or similar trademark with a registered trademark for identical or similar products”, following that at the end of the verifications the legal measures will be ordered. which are required.

Carpets and bath sets worth over 585,000 lei, likely to be counterfeit, confiscated at PTF Giurgiu

On 20.01.2021, around 10.00, being in the exercise of their duties, the Giurgiu border police officers carried out the specific control, on the way to enter the country, on a minibus driven by a Bulgarian citizen.
During the thorough checks carried out, the border guards discovered, in the cargo compartment, hidden by the cover method, a number of 1,171 carpets and bath sets, inscribed with the names and insignia of well-known brands, which could be counterfeited.
During the investigation, it was established that the goods belonged to the driver of the minibus, a 50-year-old Bulgarian citizen, who stated that he intended to transport them to Poland for sale.
The goods, whose value, if they had been sold as branded products, amount to the total amount of approximately 585,500 lei, were seized in order to continue the research.
In the case, the border police officers carried out investigations under the aspect of committing the crime of “putting into circulation without right a product bearing a trademark identical or similar to the trademark for identical or similar products” deed provided and punished by art. 102, para.1, lit. b of Law 84/1998, with subsequent amendments and completions, at the end of which the required legal measures will be ordered.

Thousands of brake discs likely to be counterfeit, found in the Port of Constanța

On 16.12.2021, a joint team of border guards from the Coast Guard and customs inspectors from the Constanta South Agigea Border Customs Office carried out a physical check on a container arriving from China, loaded with car parts, which had as a recipient of a company from Mureș County.
Following detailed checks, it was found that there were several boxes inside containing 3,022 brake discs, which are likely to infringe the intellectual property rights of well-known brands. 
The goods, with a value of approximately one million lei if they had been sold as branded products, were seized in order to examine and continue the research. At the same time, the border guards carried out investigations for the release of a product bearing an identical or similar trademark with a trademark for identical or similar products and which harms the trademark owner, and legal action will be taken upon completion.