Operation OPSON II

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/87712
Dokumentart: Report (Bericht)
Date: 2013-04-01
Language: English
Faculty: Kriminologisches Repository
Department: Kriminologie
DDC Classifikation: 360 - Social problems and services; associations
Keywords: Fälschung , Lebensmittel , Organisiertes Verbrechen
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Operation OPSON stems from the First International Meeting on Counterfeit and Protected Food Products held in Sabaudia (Italy) in April 2010. INTERPOL and the Italian Corpo Forestale dello Stato jointly organised this event. The objective was to set up a global response to the growing phenomenon of counterfeit and substandard food products. Seizures and investigations show that counterfeit and substandard food is a major concern worldwide. In the European Union alone, for instance, customs administrations seized more than 1 million food products and almost 75,000 items of fake beverages in 20111. All kinds of products are counterfeited, from luxury items such as wines or seasonal traditional dishes, to every day food like tea, candy, or condiments. In addition to intellectual property rights infringements, various products are of a substandard quality, meaning that they breach safety and health regulations, dupe consumers and are often unfit for human consumption. In order to take effective action against the problem, all stakeholders need to be involved, including: - Law enforcement agencies that provide a repressive response - Food regulatory agencies that possess the necessary legal expertise - Private partners who hold intelligence concerning their own products. Operation OPSON brought these parties together in a week of coordinated action against counterfeit/substandard food and beverages. Operation OPSON I was carried out in December 2011 and involved 10 countries plus one observer (The Democratic Republic of Congo). Results were unexpectedly impressive, not only in terms of quantities of seized goods but also in terms of the range of products. In total, 2654.58 tons, 4042 items, 5820 bottles and more than 13 000 litres of food products and beverages were seized or withdrawn from the market. Products found led to the conclusion that the threat was equally shared among the participants and among the types of products. Luxury items2 represented a substantial part of the seizures – 25% of the cases - but so did the more common products such as alcohol (37%), olive oil (3%), and cheese (10%). Regarding the infringements, 38% of the cases breached food safety regulations, while 45% constituted Intellectual Property Right (IPR) infringements. Most of the time, several types of infringements were reported in the same case (food safety, IPR, fiscal, false labelling…). With regards to these results, and bearing in mind it was only a first attempt, it was therefore necessary to renew the operation. This report presents the results of operation OPSON II carried out in December 2012, with 29 participating countries. Both INTERPOL and EUROPOL coordinated the initiative.

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