Newton Dunn: Customs authorities must be allowed to fight back against counterfeiting

Bill Newton-Dunn MEPLiberal Democrat MEP Bill Newton Dunn has criticised an alliance of Labour, Green and UKIP MEPs that voted against more effective custom checks to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR) and protect customers from potentially dangerous counterfeit products.

A majority of MEPs in the European Parliament voted today in favour of improved intellectual property protection by giving greater powers to EU customs authorities to detain and possibly destroy goods which potentially infringe upon IPRs.

Mr Newton Dunn, who has worked extensively on combating potentially dangerous counterfeit products, commented after the vote:

Counterfeit products not only damage the economy and put jobs at risk, but they are also potentially dangerous for the health and the security of consumers.

“Concerns that the fight against counterfeit medicines would affect medical supplies of generic medicines to developing countries must and will be taken into account.

“But Labour, Green and UKIP MEPs must not let British consumers and businesses down by blocking effective customs controls.”

The proposed new rules on IPR protection will now be negotiated with EU Member States. In order to counteract the increasing internet trade of counterfeited goods, MEPs voted in favour of new procedures allowing customs authorities to destroy counterfeit goods without a court decision under strictly specified conditions.

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