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Is it illegal?


There are no common European or international rules, according to which a consumer must not buy and use counterfeit products. Therefore, it is the rules of the individual countries which determine whether it is legal or not.

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In Denmark

As a consumer in Denmark you can lawfully buy and use counterfeit products. You are also free to bring counterfeit products into Denmark after a trip to another EU country.

When you return from a country outside the EU you might have to pay VAT and excise duties.

If you return by plane or by ship, from a country outside the EU, you may bring in products, without paying VAT and excise duties, if their total value does not exceed DKK 3.250. If you return by car, bus or train the limit is DKK 2.250.

In both cases this is provided that the products are intended for personal use and the goods are imported as part of your personal luggage.

Please note that there a lower limit of DKK 1.150 if a product is sent to you in Denmark from a country outside the EU because, in that case, the goods are not part of your personal luggage.

If the value exceeds the limits you risk having to pay VAT and excise duties, and you risk that the customs officer will retain the counterfeit product and inform the rights holder that you have tried to import a counterfeit product. If the rights holder considers the attempt to import the counterfeit products into Denmark to have been made for commercial trade purposes he may chose to bring legal proceedings against you and demand seizure and damages. If the rights holder does not wish to bring legal proceedings the product will be handed out to you again.

Furthermore, you should be aware that other rules may apply if you bring with you a counterfeit product bought in Denmark across the frontiers, see the section below.

In other EU countries

Several EU countries have much more stringent rules than Danmark. In some countries you risk having to pay large fines if you buy a counterfeit product, for example, in Italy. This applies no matter whether you know that it is illegal or not and no matter whether you bought the product on the street, on a large market or in a shop.

It is also illegal to buy and use counterfeit products in France and Portugal.

However, buying and using counterfeit products is legal in the UK, the Czech Republic and Germany. In Poland it is legal to buy and use counterfeit products. However, you risk being fined for using counterfeit products like films and musical DVDs and computer games.

In several countries it is also illegal to use counterfeit products no matter whether the products might have been bought lawfully in another country. Before travelling in Europe you should therefore be aware whether you are bringing in counterfeit products.


About European Consumer Centre Denmark

European Consumer Centre Denmark offers free advice for consumers regarding purchases in other EU-countries.
The centre is funded by the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority and the European Commission.