In a freight inspection in early August, customs officials confiscated counterfeit mobile phones worth approximately 265,000 euros at Frankfurt Airport. According to customs, the freight shipments were en route to a company in Belgium when they were intercepted by customs officials. The counterfeits had been shipped in five packages from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In total, the shipments are believed to have contained illegal imitations of seven different models of Samsung phones.
“Often, it impossible to spot counterfeits at first glance. Then we use the distinguishing features that the original manufacturers have provided us with to identify the fakes,” explained Christine Straß, press officer at the main customs office in Frankfurt am Main, thus illustrating the importance of brand owners sharing information with customs. “Once the rights holders have confirmed the suspected imitations are counterfeit, they are destroyed,” Straß continued.
It is often difficult to interpret distinguishing features correctly, even for experts. That’s why many brands rely on anti-counterfeit labels. These security labels are applied to the original products (or to the packaging), giving them a secure identity. The security labels can be verified with the naked eye or using a smartphone and tell users in a simple way whether a product is genuine or counterfeit.