If you are a happy owner of a replica watch or a counterfeit handbag, be careful when you travel to Switzerland - the import of products in violation of trademarks and designs is now prohibited in Switzerland, even if they are intended for private use, according to the latest legal provisions against counterfeits and piracy, in force since 1st July.
Now, Swiss customs officials have the legal right to confiscate and destroy any counterfeits brought to Switzerland, including replica watches, counterfeit handbags or any fashion articles.
The Swiss anti-counterfeiting platform Stop Piracy, the Central Bureau for the control of precious metals (customs), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) and the Swiss Anti-Piracy Association (SAFE) joined efforts to organize the action of destroying counterfeit watches and pirated DVDs.
The action was performed by a specialist recycling company in Cressier (FR). There were destructed 28,427 counterfeit watches and 4,130 pirated DVDs confiscated over the last four years by the Federal Customs Administration. The waste products of the action were reprocessed according to environmental protection guidelines.
The new legal provisions against counterfeit goods in Switzerland have resulted from the fact that Swiss consumers, too, are supporting the further development of the international fake goods industry.
Many Swiss customers buy replica watches of famous brands and other counterfeit goods when traveling abroad. Other customers buy counterfeits online. All these people are involuntarily supporting organized crime, without even realizing that they are damaging the economy of their own country.
The actions taken by Stop Piracy are aimed at raising awareness among consumers of the fake goods issue and keep them away from any unpleasant experience when they try to import the goods into Switzerland
Unfortunately, many consumers are not aware of the fact that counterfeiting and piracy severely damage the Swiss economy, resulting in a loss estimated at two billion Swiss francs annually.
As for the world trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, it was estimated to total 200 billion dollars in 2007, not taking into account online trading. This is around half of Switzerland's gross domestic product.