Geneva Airport joins the fight against piracy


Geneva International Airport (GVA) supports the campaign by STOP PIRACY to make travellers aware of the consequences of buying and consuming counterfeit products. An information booth was opened on Friday, 2 July 2010 in the departures area.

"The creativity of the counterfeiters is limitless. The top 5 products seized by Swiss customs include accessories like handbags or sunglasses, garments, watches and jewellery, medicines, and electronic appliances and equipment. It’s simple: absolutely anything can be counterfeited!" On Friday, 2 July 2010, the members of STOP PIRACY*, the Swiss platform to combat counterfeiting and piracy, opened an information booth in the middle of  the departures hall of Geneva International Airport.

"The manufacture of counterfeit goods is a lucrative business because there is a demand for counterfeit products, especially in Switzerland. Buying counterfeit goods supports illegal activities that are increasingly often carried out by organized crime. Swiss consumers are therefore partly responsible, because their demand provides an incentive for the supply of counterfeit products. Switzerland continues, however, to be committed to ensuring that action to combat counterfeiting and piracy is taken throughout the world”, the exhibitors noted.

The main actors in this awareness campaign certainly intend to combat the economic and social scourge of piracy, but also want to protect consumers: "Counterfeiters deliberately bypass safety and quality standards. This disregard of regulations comes at the expense of consumers. By purchasing goods of uncertain provenance, particularly medicines, toys and tools, consumers put their lives and health at risk. What is more, the pirates will not make good the damage done, because it is impossible to trace back to them."

"Importing counterfeit branded items and items protected by a design for private use has been prohibited in Switzerland since 1 July 2008, even if the buyer did not know the item was counterfeit or if it was not purchased recently. Customs may seize counterfeit goods at the border, even if they are imported only in small quantities and exclusively for private use. Unlike in some neighbouring countries (e.g. Italy or France), private use is not a punishable offence in Switzerland, but as  part of their defence remedies in civil proceedings, rights holders often ask for damages amounting to several hundred Swiss francs," the exhibitors noted. They do however warn travellers against any attempt to trade in counterfeit goods: "Anyone who infringes the intangible right of another by selling counterfeit goods is punishable in the eyes of Swiss law. If that person is acting professionally, the criminal prosecution authorities must even act automatically. The maximum prison sentence is five years and the financial penalty can be up to CHF 1,080,000. Offenders also risk civil penalties."