Holidaymakers face fines for buying fake gear
Holidaymakers could be fined thousands of pounds for buying fake designer gear when they go abroad, lawyers warned today.
Authorities in countries like France and Italy are stepping up a campaign against those who peddle counterfeit goods as well as those who buy them. Fines in France can rise up to 300,000 euro (£260,000).
Copyright solicitor Nicholas Phillips is warning tourists against bringing back fake designer sunglasses, sports gear, handbags and watches.
He told the BBC: "The most likely thing to happen to British tourists if they walk thought customs with a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag is customs officers will tap them on the shoulder and take it away from them.
"They will also potentially fine them twice the value of the original bag, not the fake. [That] may run to several thousand euros - imagine twice that."
The European Commission has raised fears about the growing involvement of organised international criminal gangs in the market for fake goods.
It said recently: "Without doubt, one of the principal methods of dispersing counterfeits is the 'ant-like' traffic of tourists returning home from holiday, bringing back souvenirs."
Susie Winter, director general of the Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft - which represents creative industry - 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."
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW Londo...
£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...
£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...