Belgian Customs Warns of Surge in Counterfeit Euro 2024 Jerseys

Sarhan Basem

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – As Euro 2024 kicks off, Belgian customs warn of a surge in counterfeit football jerseys. In early 2024, 3,865 jerseys were seized, mostly from China. Buyers should be cautious of suspiciously cheap deals.

As Euro 2024 begins and excitement reaches a fever rise among football fans, so do endeavours to scam them. Belgian customs have issued a caution about a record number of counterfeit football jerseys on the market.

Why Are Belgian Customs Seizing Football Jerseys?

In the first four months of 2024, the number of jerseys eliminated at Liège Airport increased 14-fold compared to the same period last year. This suggests that 3,865 jerseys were seized and eradicated compared to 271 in 2023 and 314 in 2022. 95% of the illegal products come from China while 5% are derived from Turkey. 

What Risks Come with Counterfeit Football Merchandise?

“Counterfeit goods not only harm the economy, they can also damage your health and your wallet,” customs said in a press release.

If customs officials doubt that imported goods are counterfeit, they contact the owner of the brand that has been falsified, who determines whether or not to have the items destroyed. They may also assert damages from the individual in possession of the item in question.

How to Avoid Scams During Euro 2024?

In this context, customs request people to exercise caution when shopping for football merchandise, particularly when placing orders online. Customers should be wary of outlets such as Pandabuy, Temu and TikTok as users are often shifted to other online sellers from there, who are much more difficult to determine. In addition, consumers are advised to watch out for costs that seem too good to be true. “An item that is too cheap is probably fake.”

Over 650,000 international lovers will be in Germany for the 17th European Football Championship (EURO 2024). The country is recognised for its stringent laws regarding the possession of counterfeit items. Earlier this month, rumours swirled that football fans would be subjected to hefty penalties of thousands of euros if they were caught wearing knock-off football kits. However, a fact-check guided by German outlet Deutsche Welle clarified that this was not the case.

Private wear of fake material will not be penalised during the championship. Issues only occur when counterfeit items are traded. “Offering or selling counterfeit jerseys can be prosecuted by the competent authorities, such as the police,” German customs said

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.