Buying Knockoff Goods in Italy Could Cost You Thousands
Buyer beware: Tourists trying to save a few dollars purchasing knockoff souvenirs along Italy's beaches could end up with fines that cost them dearly.
New penalties, which are being pushed by an Italian trade lobby called Confesercenti, are expected to be in place by the end of June for an existing law that makes it illegal to purchase counterfeit goods. The fines for shoppers who get caught can be up to €7,000, or $8,194. The vendors, many of whom are migrants, would be hit with even steeper fines ($3,000-$18,000).
The point of this so-called "safe beaches" law is to stop illegal traders from selling their goods, and "bags, clothes, shoes and accessories" specifically are being targeted. According to an article from Lonely Planet, "the black market trade in the tourism sector is a €22 billion ($25.75 billion) industry, causing the Italian government to lose €11.5 billion ($13.4 billion) in tax annually."
Newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini believes cracking down on these illegal vendors will protect legitimate businesses and cut down on tax evasion.
H/T: Lonely Planet
Photo by Shutterstock.com