Swiss Justice Minister Christoph Blocher has called for a nationwide campaign to fight fake products, which cause severe damages to the economy, Swiss Radio International (SRI) reported Wednesday.
More efforts must be made to raise public awareness of the damage counterfeit products cause to the economy, as well as to punish producers and traders of imitations, Blocher was quoted by the SRI as saying at Zurich airport.
According to the official, fake products are not being manufactured in Switzerland, but the country is used primarily as a transit place to move illegal imitations of branded goods across Europe.
About 5 percent of all fake goods confiscated by EU customs have passed through Switzerland. Most of these goods are from Asia.
All too often it is considered a minor offence to deal in counterfeit products, such as watches, or to download illegal copies of music and videos from the Internet, Blocher said.
He said the piracy of brand products causes 2 billion Swiss francs (about 1.6 billion U.S. dollars) in damages to the Swiss economy every year.
He warned that the sales of fake goods also help to finance other criminal activities, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution and terrorism.
The official said the planned amendments to the Swiss law on patents - currently under discussion in parliament and due to come into force next year - would allow the customs authorities to increase checks on transiting goods and confiscate illegal products.