Only four customs officers are left at the airport in the French Riviera resort of Cannes, renowned as a bastion of the Calabrian mafia. There used to be 20.
The only fixed container scanner in the port of Le Havre, maritime gateway to the Paris region, has shut down and there is no plan to replace it. Customs patrol boats are tied up in dock and vehicles are grounded for want of fuel.
Since 2011 the number of seizures of counterfeit goods has fallen by half in France. But the customs service says around a third of the articles it did inspect last year were not in conformity with EU rules, up from 22 percent in 2011.