Travelers Fined for Counterfeit Goods

by William ASTON on August 31, 2009

The European Commission recently announced plans to make penalties stricter for travelers who bring counterfeit goods into Europe.   Italy and France have already started to support this plan by tightening security and hitting travelers with steep fines if they are caught bringing counterfeit items into their home country.  It is common for knock-off items like handbags, sunglasses, and DVDs to be purchased during holidays and brought back home by travelers, many of whom are not aware of the severity of their crime.

The main reason given for the new standards is that the criminal organizations involved in counterfeit goods are also involved in a bevy of more serious crimes including drugs, prostitution, and in some cases, even terrorism.   Susie Winter, General Director of the Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft said, “We would urge people to think about where their money is going. These are not cheeky chappies making an honest living on a Sunday morning, these are hardened criminals.”

In France, travelers caught with phone goods can face penalties of up to three hundred thousand Euros, but for the most part airport officials are just taking the items and levying a small fine. 
Travelers returning from countries like Thailand and China, where fake goods can be found in abundance, can expect to be looked at a little more closely upon their return.

The above quote comes from the Independent.  For more information, please visit their website.

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