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Euratex backs Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement
16
Feb '12
European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) is advocating a fair world trade system for these European SMEs and their employees, which implies strong and efficient instruments for protecting creativity and innovation.

EURATEX officially represents the European Textile and Clothing Industry, largely made-up of 99% are Small and Medium companies (<15 employees) manufacturing myriad of highly creative products and which plays a crucial role on the economy and social well-being in numerous regions of the European Union and the Pan-Euro-Med area. According to the latest structural data available, in 2010 there were 149.000 companies employing 1.9 million people and generated a turnover of more than €172 billion.

Following the deregulating world trade, and beyond discussions on more or less judicious relocation and restructuring carried out by some companies in an attempt to remedy their current problems, lies the question of the protection of the dynamic and competitive creativeness of EU SMEs.

While famous brand names are (too) frequently quoted to illustrate counterfeiting and piracy, especially in our Industry, one must not forget that companies are also seriously affected by having their millions of designs copied (main assets of SMEs), as well as by the illegal and dangerous copy of a host of other products like airbags, babies' nappies, bullet-proof vests, fire-proof suits, or lift cables!

Whether they produce traditional, technical, high-tech textiles, or apparel, our enterprises are all hit by counterfeiting and piracy which, even if it does not always have a direct impact on the health and safety of European consumers, always dramatically harms the economy of our EU regions, with a direct impact on employment, and allows for the creation, evolution and continuation of intolerable illegal activities.

For all these reasons, EURATEX strongly believes that, because, more than other Institutions, it represents the interests of European citizens, employees, consumers and entrepreneurs, the European Parliament should vote in favour of Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - ACTA.

EURATEX also urges the Member States which have not ratified yet this agreement to follow the model of the 22 countries which already did it in the interest of their enterprises, employees and citizens.

While clothing and labels (partially related to Textile) were representing 7% each of the total articles seized (with 7.778.535 articles seized in 2010, against 6 million in 2009), it must be highlighted that textile and clothing products still remain by far the products that generate the highest number of customs procedures, i.e. 26, 31% of the total procedures for the year 2010 (22.056 procedures on 79.112 procedures).

In 2010, the main countries of origin or provenance of textile and clothing (and accessories) counterfeiting is China with 76 % (against 45 % in 2005).

In 2010, the customs administrations of the Member States submitted details concerning the value of the detentions to the Commission for the first time. The standard value for reporting by Member States is the domestic retail value (DRV) which is the price at which the goods would have been sold at retail in the internal market of the Member State had they been genuine. Based upon this DRV, Clothing is in the Top 4 category (with cigarettes, sport shoes, and clothing accessories) with a DRV of:

- 177.903.953 € for Clothing
- 25.252.664 € for Clothing accessories

EURATEX's main objective is to promote the interests of its members while taking into account the European Union's institutional framework and its international obligations.

European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX)

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