2006 was a record year for the number of fake goods seized by French Customs - with garments, garment accessories and household fabrics accounting for 15% of the total, up from 12% in 2005.

Children's wear had a prominent place in the garments seized, the customs report noted. It added that seizures of fake brand shoes, in particular sports shoes, were stable, representing 2% of the total. As with garments, the counterfeiters had focused their attention on copying the most recent models.

The French authorities put their hands on just over 6m counterfeit - mostly brand - items last year, up 6.4% on 2005, with an estimated value on the domestic market of more than EUR278m (US$370.3m).

Around 30% of the counterfeit goods seized came from China and Hong Kong, the most common point of origin for production and export.