PRESS RELEASE No 09/2017
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Stopping counterfeit goods from reaching the European Union market and harming European citizens is important for the European Anti-Fraud Office's (OLAF), not only to protect the EU budget but also to safeguard the health and safety of consumers. In recent weeks, OLAF's efforts paid off: not only did it seize over 20 tons of fake detergent in a Member State, but the Office was also honoured with the International Organisation Award of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) Network, a confirmation of its commitment and efforts to fight against smuggling. The award ceremony will take place today (7 June), on the World Anti-Counterfeiting day, in Paris.
"OLAF is very proud to receive this prestigious award. Counterfeit goods are a danger not only to the economy, but also to the safety and wellbeing of citizens. As our most recent seizures show, the dedication of our staff and the close cooperation with our partners has helped us gathering valuable intelligence and reacting swiftly and successfully," OLAF Director-General Giovanni Kessler said.
Just last week, OLAF informed one of its partners, an EU Customs service from a Member State, about a suspicious operator, which aimed to store counterfeit detergents in that country and further resell them on the EU black market. As a result, OLAF pulled-off a swift operation that resulted in the seizure of 20 tons of fake detergent by the customs authorities, which were confirmed by the right-holders to be counterfeit.
OLAF has made a lasting contribution to protecting public budgets and the EU citizens from the dangers of purchasing and using counterfeit goods. For instance, in July of 2016, the Office, supported by Italian, Polish and Spanish partners, seized more than two tons of counterfeit mechanical parts coming from Asia. A technical assessment confirmed that the seized bearings did not correspond to standards of resistance and quality, which could pose serious threats to the health and safety of consumers.
To see the full scope of our work and more information on seizures and investigations on counterfeit goods, you can have a look at our OLAF Report 2016.
About the GAC Awards:
The annual GAC Awards reflect the continuing development of the campaign to combat the international trade in fakes. The geographical spread of winners shows the world-wide importance of working together to build respect for the value of creativity, innovation and enterprise, and to improve best practices for enforcement. The growing sophistication of organisations in using research and information to influence both public awareness and government authorities is evident. Combining different strategies and using the latest technologies successfully is also recognised.
OLAF Director-General Giovanni Kessler receiving Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award
OLAF mission, mandate and competences:
OLAF’s mission is to detect, investigate and stop fraud with EU funds.
OLAF fulfils its mission by:
• carrying out independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds, so as to ensure that all EU taxpayers’ money reaches projects that can create jobs and growth in Europe;
• contributing to strengthening citizens’ trust in the EU Institutions by investigating serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU Institutions;
• developing a sound EU anti-fraud policy.
In its independent investigative function, OLAF can investigate matters relating to fraud, corruption and other offences affecting the EU financial interests concerning:
• all EU expenditure: the main spending categories are Structural Funds, agricultural policy and rural development funds, direct expenditure and external aid;
• some areas of EU revenue, mainly customs duties;
• suspicions of serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions.
For further details:
- Publication date
- 7 June 2017
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- OLAF press release