In a report carried out by OECD and EUIPO, it was found that an estimated 121 billion euros worth of EU imports are counterfeit goods. That makes up around 6.8% of all imports to the bloc.
The report looked at data from 500,000 customs seizures carried out by enforcement agencies internationally. It found that growth in illegal goods had grown consistently since 2013.
Around the world, the trade of counterfeit goods is worth an estimated 460 billion, according to the report. Furthermore, compared to last year’s report, there had been a 1.8% increase in Europe and a 3.3% increase globally.
Among the most likely items to be copied were clothing and footwear, electrical items, cosmetics, jewellery, toys, watches, and leather. In addition, food, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment are being forged – this could pose potentially dangerous risks for consumers.
In terms of the companies most affected by forgery, most of them are US based firms. France, Italy, the UK, Spain, and Germany were all in the top 10; other EU countries that are most affected include Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium.
The report claims that around 50% of these products are believed to be produced in China. Some other major producers of counterfeit goods are Thailand, India, Turkey, and Vietnam.
A previous report also noted that the major transition points for counterfeit goods that are entering the European Union are Albania, Morocco, Egypt, and the Ukraine. Turkey is also a main point, being close to Europe and also within easy access to Asia and North Africa.
In a statement, Executive Director of the EUIPO Christian Archambeau said, “Counterfeiting and piracy pose a major threat to innovation and economic growth, at both EU and global level.”
He added, “The rise in the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade is deeply concerning, and clearly calls for coordinated action, at all levels, to be fully tackled.”
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