Counterfeited goods and the safety of our children
Last time we discussed the relations between counterfeit goods and terrorism. However, when it comes to counterfeit goods, there are numerous other aspects to consider – while unknowingly supporting international crime and terrorism, anyone using counterfeit goods may be putting his own health or safety at risk, or worth still, he may be risking his children's health or safety.
According to the data issued by the European Commission in December 2020, EU customs stopped fake and potentially dangerous goods worth nearly €760 million in 2019. In 2018 toys accounted for 14% of goods detained by EU customs officials, the second-largest category behind cigarettes. That makes nearly 3.8 million potentially dangerous fake toys with a retail value of almost 26 million euros seized in 2018.
Children are an easy target – characters from world-famous cartoon movies are sure to attract children's attention. No harm will be done if the toys originate from safe and trusted producers and retailers. However, due to their popularity, cartoon characters are often unlawfully copied by counterfeiters, and thus potentially dangerous products may end up in the hands of children, causing drastic results. Nobody would like their children to learn to swim wearing colorful inflatable floating cuffs which may burst after two-three uses. Floating cuffs with famous cartoon characters is not a random example, but just one of the many examples of product categories targeted for children by counterfeiters and luckily detained by the Estonian customs in 2019 before they could harm any users.
Counterfeit toys form a vast category of potentially hazardous children's goods. It is quite obvious that counterfeiters are first and foremost interested in quick and easy profit, so no attention is paid to safety standards or materials. Counterfeited toys containing small parts which are not securely fixed are a tremendous choking hazard, especially for toddlers. Furthermore, if the materials used to produce counterfeited toys are dyed using hazardous chemicals, the children playing with the toys are exposed to numerous health risks, including various allergic reactions.
Let's consciously protect our children – stop purchasing counterfeited toys!