Tag Archives: Industrial counterfeiting

European Technical and Scientific Centre

European Technical and Scientific Centre

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Technical and Scientific Centre

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2005/37/EC of 29 October 2004 establishing the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) and providing for coordination of technical actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting.

Summary

This decision establishes the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) within the European Commission in Brussels, attached to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Tasks of the centre

The ETSC:

  • analyses and classifies every new type of counterfeit euro coin, in accordance with the regulation on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting;
  • contributes to fulfilling the objectives of the Pericles programme;
  • assists the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNAC) and law-enforcement authorities;
  • collaborates with relevant authorities in the analysis of counterfeit euro coins and the strengthening of protection.

Hosting at the French Mint

For the technical and scientific analysis of counterfeit euro coins, the ETSC uses the personnel and premises that the French Mint has made available, and notably its laboratory. The Commission seconds specialist members of its personnel for this purpose. The other expenses attributable to the work carried out by the ETSC are charged to the general budget of the European Union (EU).

Coordination and information activities

The Commission coordinates the actions of the technical authorities competent for the protection of euro coins, in particular through regular meetings of the Counterfeit Coin Experts Group. Chaired by the Commission, this group allows pooling of the various experiences and expertise of EU countries in relation to counterfeiting of euro coins and coordination of technical actions necessary to protect the euro.

The Economic and Financial Committee, the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Police Office (Europol) and the competent national authorities are regularly kept informed of the centre’s activities and of the situation as regards coin counterfeiting.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/37/EC

29.10.2004

OJ L 19 of 21.1.2005

Related Acts

Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation [Official Journal L 339 of 22.12.2010].
This regulation introduces common rules and procedures within the euro area for checking the authenticity of euro coins in circulation and for handling and reimbursing euro coins unfit for circulation.
With a view to coordinating the application of these rules and procedures, the ETSC is responsible for defining, among others, the:

  • technical specifications for the detection tests of coin-processing machines used for verifying the authenticity of euro coins;
  • training practices for the cash handlers’ personnel tasked with checking euro coins;
  • validity period of the summary reports on detection tests;
  • information to be provided on the list published on the Commission website of coin-processing machines that have successfully passed a detection test;
  • guidelines for annual on-the-spot controls by EU countries of cash handlers’ capacity to authenticate euro coins;
  • rules for rectifying a cash handler’s non-compliance with the provisions of the regulation.

Council Decision 2003/861/EC of 8 December 2003 concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].

This decision, addressed to the EU countries of the euro zone, provides for the establishment by the Commission of the European Technical and Scientific Centre and ensures its functioning.

Council Decision 2003/862/EC of 8 December 2003 extending the effects of Decision 2003/861/EC concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins to those Member States which have not adopted the euro as their single currency [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].

This decision extends the effects of Decision 2003/861/EC to EU countries that have not adopted the euro as their single currency.

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 of 28 June 2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This regulation seeks to set up an overall system for protecting the euro against counterfeiting, with a view to the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. It supplements a number of decisions taken previously in this field, namely:

  • Guideline ECB/1999/3 of the European Central Bank (ECB) of 26 August 1998 on certain provisions regarding euro banknotes, which established the Counterfeit Analysis Centre (CAC);
  • Council decision of 28 February 2000 providing for the systematic gathering of technical information on euro counterfeiting by the ECB and for the establishment of national centres (Coin National Analysis Centres – CNACs) and a European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) responsible for analysing euro coins;
  • Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro.

The system for the protection of the euro includes the following elements:

  • the systematic transmission of technical data on counterfeit euro notes and coins by the competent national authorities (national central banks, other empowered bodies, etc.) to the ECB, which will be responsible for storage and processing;
  • the obligation on the competent national authorities to allow the National Analysis Centre (NAC) to examine suspected counterfeit notes and to allow the CNAC to examine suspect coins. These bodies must send all new types of suspect notes to the ECB and all new types of suspect coins to the ETSC;
  • the obligation on credit institutions, on other payment service providers and on other institutions that process and distribute notes and coins to the public:
    1. to ensure that all euro notes and coins that they have received and that they intend to put back into circulation are checked for authenticity and
    2. to withdraw from circulation those notes and coins that they know or have good reason to believe are counterfeit and to hand them over to the relevant national authority.

    European Union (EU) countries must provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to institutions that fail to discharge their obligations;

  • cooperation between the relevant authorities of EU countries (in particular, the national central offices established under the Geneva Convention), the ECB and the Commission for the purposes of strategic analysis and mutual assistance in the prevention of counterfeiting, including scientific support and training, and between them and the European Police Office (Europol);
  • centralisation of the information on euro counterfeiting cases within the national central offices, with a view to transmission to Europol via its national units;
  • cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations.

EU countries must communicate the list of authorities competent to identify forged notes and coins to the Commission and the ECB.

Regulation (EC) No 1339/2001, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 45/2009, extends Articles 1 to 11 of this regulation to the EU countries that have not adopted the euro as their single currency.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001

4.7.2001

OJ L 181 of 4.7.2001

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 44/2009

23.1.2009

OJ L 17 of 22.1.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation [Official Journal L 339 of 22.12.2010].
This regulation introduces common binding rules for checking the authenticity of euro coins in circulation and for handling and reimbursing euro coins unfit for circulation within the euro area.
Credit institutions, other payment service providers and any other institutions that process and distribute euro coins to the public must apply a procedure of authentication by coin-processing machines or trained personnel to coins intended for re-circulation.
All counterfeit coins and coins unfit for circulation must be handed over to the designated national authority. EU countries must withdraw from circulation and reimburse or replace any unfit coins.

Decision ECB/2010/14 of the European Central Bank of 16 September 2010 on the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes (2010/597/EU) [Official Journal L 267 of 9.10.2010].
This decision establishes common rules and procedures for checking the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes intended for recirculation by credit institutions, other payment service providers and any other institutions that process and distribute them to the public. These checks may only be carried out by a type of banknote handling machine that has been successfully tested by a national central bank (NCB) or manually by a trained member of the cash handler’s staff.
Banknotes classified as genuine and fit following a check by a type of banknote handling machine may be put back into circulation through customer-operated machines or cash dispensers. Banknotes checked manually by a staff member may only be re-circulated over the counter.
All counterfeit banknotes must be handed over to the competent national authorities, while all unfit banknotes must be handed over to the relevant NCB.

referred to in Article 2(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 [Official Journal C 56 of 10.3.2009].
This document lists the authorities that EU countries have designated as competent at national level for the fight against counterfeiting, for the purposes of Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001.

Council Decision 2003/861/EC of 8 December 2003 concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].
Under this decision, the Commission has the task of establishing the ETSC and ensuring its functioning and the coordination of the activities of the competent technical authorities to protect euro coins against counterfeiting. Council Decision 2003/862/EC extends these provisions to the EU countries that have not adopted the euro.

Decision ECB/2003/4 of the European Central Bank of 20 March 2003 on the denominations, specifications, reproduction, exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes (2003/205/EC) [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003].

between the European Police Office (Europol) and the European Central Bank (ECB) [Official Journal C 23 of 25.1.2002].
The agreement, concluded under Article 3 of the present regulation, gives Europol access to the technical and statistical data held by the ECB that relate to counterfeit notes and coins discovered both in EU and in non-EU countries. Europol will thus have access to information in the ECB-managed Counterfeiting Monitoring System (CMS), but will not be able to enter data directly.
Furthermore, the ECB and Europol are to:

  • promptly exchange information;
  • consult each other and coordinate their policies, training activities and public information campaigns;
  • provide mutual technical assistance needed for certain analyses.

Subject to compliance with certain conditions relating to criminal proceedings, the ECB provides Europol with a sample of counterfeit euro notes for analysis.

Council Decision 2001/923/EC of 17 December 2001 establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting (the “Pericles” programme) [Official Journal L 339 of 21.12.2001].

Council Decision 2001/887/JHA of 6 December 2001 on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [Official Journal L 329 of 14.12.2001].

Decision ECB/2001/11 of the European Central Bank of 8 November 2001 on certain conditions regarding access to the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS) (2001/912/EC) [Official Journal L 337 of 20.12.2001].
Under this decision, the ECB reorganised the database on counterfeit money into the Counterfeiting Monitoring System (CMS). This system is a central database containing all the technical information and statistics relating to the counterfeiting of euro notes and coins supplied by EU or non-EU countries.

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2001/887/JHA of 6 December 2001 on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting.

Summary

With a view to the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2002, this decision supplements a number of existing provisions on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, namely:

  • Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro;
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting.

In the context of investigations into counterfeiting of the euro, this decision requires European Union (EU) countries to ensure that the National Analysis Centres (NACs) carry out the necessary expert analyses of suspected counterfeit notes. For suspected counterfeit coins, the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNACs) must carry out the necessary expert analyses. EU countries must forward the results of these expert analyses to the European Police Office (Europol).

The national central offices responsible for investigations into counterfeiting in EU countries have an obligation to communicate centralised information on investigations into counterfeiting and offences related to counterfeiting of the euro, including information received from non-EU countries, to Europol. At least the following information should be communicated:

  • details on the persons involved;
  • description of the offences;
  • the circumstances in which the offences were discovered;
  • the context of the seizure;
  • any connections to other cases.

To cooperate on their investigations into counterfeiting and offences related to counterfeiting of the euro, EU countries’ competent authorities should make use of the facilities of Eurojust.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2001/887/JHA

14.12.2001

OJ L 329 of 14.12.2001

European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan

European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan

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Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Intellectual property

European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan

Acts

Council Resolution of 25 September 2008 on a comprehensive European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan [Official Journal C 253 of 4.10.2008].

Summary

With this Resolution, the Council is calling on the Commission to put into effect the actions to combat counterfeiting and piracy set out in its Communication on an industrial property rights strategy for Europe [COM(2008) 465]. This Communication provides a set of measures aimed at enforcing industrial property, copy- and related rights such as customs initiatives, completing legislation, concluding inter-industry agreements, enforcing cross-border judgements, enforcing intellectual property rights in third countries and working towards a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA).

In this regard, the Commission is invited to establish a European counterfeiting and piracy observatory based on its existing structures. It should define in detail the arrangements and financing for the establishment and future operations of the observatory. The aim of the observatory should be to allow for regular evaluations and more accurate analysis of the counterfeiting and piracy situation in Europe. The data for this should be provided on a voluntary basis by both the private and public sectors.

The Commission should also communicate with actors taking part in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This should involve the diffusion of related information, in particular by using the Internet.

Finally, the Commission is also invited to develop awareness-raising activities in order to inform consumers of the dangers of counterfeiting. These should include operational guides and events to mark the European awareness day related to counterfeiting and piracy.

At the same time, the Council is also inviting the Commission and the Member States to take action to fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This should, among others, consist of drawing up an anti-counterfeiting customs plan for the period 2009-12. This plan should prioritise information sharing via electronic means, along with collaboration between border authorities, namely customs authorities, and rights holders. The Commission and the Member States should also review the customs law with a view to enhancing the legal framework so that the fight against counterfeiting is made more effective.

In addition, the Commission and the Member States should:

  • establish a rapid information exchange network for counterfeit products and services by stepping-up cross-border administrative collaboration with the help of national contact points and modern information and communication tools;
  • ensure that the institutions fighting against counterfeiting and piracy may coordinate properly by promoting the sharing of best practice between national administrations;
  • review the legal framework relating to intellectual property rights in order to evaluate its effectiveness;
  • encourage partnerships between the public and private sector for fighting counterfeiting and piracy, propose good practice and promote collaboration between professionals.

Furthermore, the Commission and the Member States should promote the protection of intellectual property rights within the international context, including in cooperation activities with third countries. This should consist of endorsing the inclusion and enforcement of intellectual property rights in bi- and multilateral agreements and actively working towards the conclusion of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.

Background

In March 2008, the Council launched the new cycle of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs (2008-10). In this context, the European Union was invited to fight against counterfeiting more effectively by working towards a more efficient system of protection of intellectual property rights.