The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) is urging suppliers to review and, if necessary, redouble their brand protection and authentication strategies, in the light of a new EU report on customs enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Last year, more than €19.5m worth of fake toys were seized by customs officers at the EU’s external borders. Toys (excluding games/electronic games) accounted for nearly five per cent of the 1,637,941 items seized in 2012 due to IPR infringements.
However, according to the IHMA many counterfeit toys evade detection on entering the EU, with China continuing to be the main source (94.1%) of supply for fake toys entering Europe.
The news follows our report earlier this year that more than two million counterfeit toys were seized across European countries in 2011.
"Undoubtedly, the vast majority of responsible toy manufacturers are committed to ensuring their toys are safe for children to play with," said Ian Lancaster, general secretary at the IHMA (pictured above).
"So, brand owners and those authorities responsible for legislation are sure to be alarmed at these figures. More must be done – and quickly – to deal with the problem and this might include increased integration of holograms as part of the brand protection strategies."
Increasing adoption of holography in places like China and other global counterfeiting hot spots reinforces the hologram’s position as a pre-eminent security feature in the global anti-counterfeiting fight.
Lancaster continued: "Holography has a key role as a highly effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters. All involved in the supply chain – manufacturers, distributors, consumers, tax authorities – will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide."