Tourists beware! Paris police have been tasked to spot fake designer handbags and fine you €300,000!
It’s such a crazy world we live in and being and 1980s kid I’ve seen some unbelievable changes in different societies all over the world. To think that you could actually spend some jail time for purchasing or carrying fake fashion merchandise is just outrageous. With severe laws and severe punishments to match, France has the strictest anti-counterfeit legislation in the world. Since 1994 France drafted a law that will punish a citizen or a tourist owning counterfeit products.
With one poster reads “Real Ladies don’t like Fakes” and another reads “you can call your lawyer with this telephone,” on top of an image of a Chanel mobile phone counterfeit.
Comite Colbert, one of the lead fighters in the war against counterfeits, has started a poster campaign in French airports aimed at dissuading travelers from purchasing fake goods. Dior, Cartier, and Remy Martin all have come together and partnered with Comite Colbert plus 75 other French luxury creators to pioneer this campaign. “In France you can be fined up to 300,000 euros and jailed for three years,” reads another warning in a poster for tourists owning fake goods.
Louis Vuitton and Chanel have also launched their own campaign with several European countries against the damaging flood of counterfeit goods in the European Union. This has become an increasingly lucrative business but has also devastated the economy in the region. The famous third party sales website, eBay, was ordered to pay more than 38.6 million Euros to brand owner LVMH for letting counterfeit products and its branded perfumes be sold on the site. This happened after LVMH filed a lawsuit in France against the website.
About US$600 billion or 7% of all the world’s trade represent the illegal counterfeit industry each year and this seems to grow at a steady rate of 1.7% every 2 years according to the Interpol through their research on the customs bureau of different countries. Recently the United States Customs recorder their largest categories of seized products and it included apparel, bags, footwear and sunglasses; seizures of counterfeit goods have more than doubled between 2000 and 2004.
According to the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union, China is the main source of counterfeit articles after they evaluated that 54% of the 178 million counterfeit articles seized at the European borders in 2013.