New powers giving U.K. trade officials the right to seize physical copies of pirated music come into effect for the first time tomorrow.

The move had been recommended by the 2006 Gowers Review, an independent report that re-examined U.K. copyright law, conducted by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers.

The move updates the country's Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988). This allowed trading standard officials the power to seize pirated brands like fake handbags, clothing, and shoes but, until now, the legislation did not apply to physical copies of copyrighted works such as music and movies.

According to the most recent figures from the BPI, the U.K.'s music-industry trade body, the sector loses about 16.5 million units of albums to piracy. That is valued at an estimated £165 million ($326 million) a year.

Previously, only piracy raids backed by police authorities could seize illegal recordings. But the new additions to the Copyright Act give the U.K.'s Trading Standard officers similar powers to the police. Section 107a grants trade officers the power to seize illegal CDs and other pirated physical musical recordings; and Section 198a grants them the right to seize bootleg recordings of live performances.

The legislative move, which comes 13 years after the BPI started lobbying the British government to amend the law, has been welcomed by Geoff Taylor, the BPI's recently appointed CEO.

"We are pleased that the government has now corrected the long-standing anomaly that prevented the Trading Standards from protecting copyright in the same way that they protect brands," he said in a statement. "This opens a new front in the fight against music piracy."