Fight against online sale of counterfeits continues in France

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sales

As part of the ongoing fight against the sale of counterfeit products online, the French government has introduced a charter containing a number of principles to be signed by manufacturers and e-commerce platforms alike.

The charter is the result of an initiative launched last February in which the government said it wanted to reinforce the cooperation between brand owners and e-commerce sites.

France’s cosmetics trade association FEBEA has signed the charter along with companies such as L’Oreal, LVMH Moet Hennessey, and Kenzo, and e commerce platforms like and priceminister.

In signing the charter, the companies and organisations are promising to respect its 17 articles that have been designed to help fight against online sale of counterfeit products.

Articles include the obligation for e-commerce sites to pay particular attention to sellers and the information they provide, and to inform the selling community of the sanctions that will be incurred if they are found to be selling counterfeit goods.

In turn brand owners will provide the e-commerce platforms with information about potential counterfeits and how best to detect them.

Consumer advice

In addition to signing the charter, FEBEA has also published guidelines for online consumers in an attempt to curb the growth of counterfeit trade.

The association cites Deloitte research published in November that suggested over 40 percent of French individuals were planning on buying Christmas presents online and nearly 20 per cent were planning on using the internet to resell the unwanted gifts after the festive period.

Although evidently providing an important service to internet users, FEBEA notes manufacturers and e-commerce sites must police this new environment.

According to FEBEA, one of the difficulties in fighting against the online sale of counterfeits is the anonymity of sellers on the auction sites where pseudonyms are used as the only method of identification.

These individuals often pretend to be private sellers and regularly change their pseudonyms when in fact they may be big scale sellers, passing off millions of counterfeit products, the association claims.

Consumers are advised that detecting counterfeit goods, particularly perfume, is remarkably difficult. They are advised to pay particular attention to the words used to describe the product, as well as looking to the comments of other internet users on the site.

In addition, looking attentively at the seller’s behaviour can also indicate counterfeit goods, said the trade association; an individual who repeatedly puts perfumes up for sale with the excuse that they received it as a gift and don’t like it could be suspicious.

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