Malta’s robust Customs Department has uncovered how the country is a transitory hub for fake goods, seizing over 6.1 million products that infringe of intellectual property rights, the second-most in the entire EU.
It’s a massive 152% increase in goods seized when compared with 2018.
Most of the fake products are not destined for Maltese shores. Malta is one of four key European ports within the Mediterranean and most tankers have to pass through the country before entering the EU bloc.
An EU report found that China is the overall main country which distributes goods that infringe on intellectual property rights to the EU, most of which are watches, mobile phones and accessories, memory cards and sticks, and labels, tags and stickers.
However, there are particular countries linked to the distribution of particular products. Notably: Turkey for foodstuffs and lighters; Guatemala for alcoholic beverages; Saint Lucia for other beverages; Georgia for sunglasses; and Bangladesh for CDs/DVDs; Bulgaria for cigarettes.
Malta’s Customs Department has been behind some impressive finds over the last to years due to an increased investment on resources and scanners to sift through the many tankers that pass through Malta’s Freeport.
Most recently, Customs official seized cocaine worth €70 million in one of the biggest finds in Maltese history. It is believed that the shipment originated from Colombia and Ecuador and passed through Malta with an estimated 612kgs of cocaine seized.
It continues on from years of good work, with Malta’s Customs Department seizing over 17,500 kgs of drugs over the past five years with an estimated value of €110 million.
What do you think of the Customs recent success? Comment below