Christmas is boom-time for manufacturers and retailers as consumers engage in an annual shopping frenzy that sends profits soaring and can give a much-needed boost to ailing economies. But it’s not just the makers and sellers of the perfumes, handbags and watches we buy who are cashing in. Counterfeiters are increasingly getting in on that act, thanks to advances in technology and a change in the law in Europe.
That’s the focus of this edition of On the Frontline. We’re out on the streets of Amsterdam and speak to customs officers in the port of Rotterdam trying to tackle the rip-off merchants. In our studio discussion we also hear from two experts in customs operations and anti-counterfeiting. They tell us of a surge in fake products – from luxury goods to medicines – and speak of their concerns for the safety of consumers in Europe.