ICCE urges focus on counterfeit goods as UK announces border checks measures for BREXIT

BREXIT and counterfeit goods


LONDON, 31 JULY 2020:  The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa (ICCE) welcomes the UK Government’s recent commitment to spend £705 million on border control infrastructure, in preparation for the UK leaving the European customs union and single market, and urges the Government to set aside some of these funds to support efforts to crack down on the importation and supply of counterfeit, unsafe or illegal products and on smuggling. 

In 2019, UK ports handled 483 million tonnes of freight, 206 million tonnes of which was UK-EU trade1. However, the UK market, including the internet, is awash with fake products. An OECD report3 in 2019 estimated that up to £13.6 billion of fake goods were shipped into the UK in 2016; this represents 3% of total imports.

The global imaging consumables industry is currently threatened by a €1.6 billion black market in counterfeit imaging supplies. Counterfeit goods undermine consumer confidence and cheat consumers of the quality they expect from branded consumables. They can be environmentally unfriendly and fund organised crime. ICCE members have received reports of counterfeit cartridges containing petroleum which, if used, could cause a printer to explode with potentially severe consequences for the user.

The supply of counterfeit imaging consumables also threatens the jobs and livelihoods of workers across the UK and the EU. Therefore, it is in the interests of the UK and EU to clamp down on the passage of counterfeit or illicit goods across the UK border and entry into either marketplace.

It is therefore critical that earmarked funds are used to bolster anti-counterfeit and anti-smuggling activities and reduce the prevalence of unsafe goods entering the UK. The additional funding could be used to put in place more physical checks at border points of entry to prevent counterfeit products, including counterfeit imaging supplies, from entering the country through ports and postal services.  ICCE and its members stand ready to assist UK border authorities and other law enforcement to regain the advantage over the counterfeit suppliers which are currently penetrating the UK.

About the Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa

The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa (ICCE) was formed in 1997 as a direct response to the increase in counterfeit imaging consumables across the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Imaging consumables include toners, ink cartridges and ribbons.

Initially formed as an industry association to educate, lobby, exchange information and raise awareness, ICCE has evolved to coordinate receiving and processing intelligence information on counterfeiters, initiating joint industry raids and enforcement activities and helping its members to target counterfeiters through the criminal and civil courts.


[1} DfT statistical release 21 August 2019 UK Port Freight Statistics: 2018.

{2} ICCE includes the following members: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP Inc, Kyocera, Lexmark, OKI, Printronix, Ricoh and Xerox. HP Inc also represents Samsung toner division.

[3] Trade in Counterfeit Products and the UK Economy, 2019 Update (OECD).

For further information, please contact:

ICCE at icce@icce.net