Belgian customs seize more counterfeit football kits ahead of Euro 2024


Belgian customs seize more counterfeit football kits ahead of Euro 2024

Two models show the home and away outfits, during a press conference of Belgian national soccer team Red Devils to present the new shirts for the UEFA Euro 2024 European Championship, Thursday 14 March 2024, at the Musee Herge in Louvain-la-Neuve. Credit: Belga / Bruno Fahy

In the first four months of 2024, the amount of jerseys destroyed at Liège Airport increased 14-fold compared to the same period last year. This means that 3,865 jerseys were seized and destroyed compared to 271 in 2023 and 314 in 2022.

95% of the illegal products come from China while 5% originated from Turkey. “Counterfeit goods not only harm the economy, they can also damage your health and your wallet,” customs stated in a press release.

If customs officials suspect that imported goods are counterfeit, they contact the owner of the brand that has been falsified, who decides whether or not to have the items destroyed. They may also claim damages from the individual in possession of the item in question.

In this context, customs ask people to exercise caution when shopping for football merchandise, especially when placing orders online. Customers should be wary of platforms such as Pandabuy, Temu and TikTok as users are often redirected to other online sellers from there, who are much more difficult to identify.

In addition, consumers are advised to watch out for prices that seem too good to be true. “An item that is too cheap is probably fake.”

Fans in Germany will not face fines

Over 650,000 international fans will be in Germany for the 17th European Football Championship (EURO 2024). The country is known for its strict laws regarding the possession of counterfeit items and earlier this month, rumours swirled around that football fans would be subjected to hefty fines of thousands of euro if they were caught wearing knock-off football kits. However, a fact-check conducted by German outlet Deutsche Welle clarified that this was not the case.

Private wear of counterfeit material will not be punished during the championship. Issues only arise when counterfeit items are traded. “Offering or selling counterfeit jerseys can be prosecuted by the competent authorities, such as the police,” German customs told DW.


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