Fake goods now account for 2.5% of global imports

New OECD/EUIPRO study puts value of imported bogus goods at €461 billion for 2013

The trade in fake goods is worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, equivalent to around 2.5 per cent of global imports, according to a new study.

The report, which was carried out jointly by the OECD and the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPRO), analysed nearly half a million custom seizures around the world between 2011 and 2013. It shows trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has jumped from 1.9 per cent of global imports in 2008.

The latest study puts the value of imported fake goods at €461 billion for 2013, as against total imports for that year of €17.9 trillion. The report covers all physical counterfeit goods, which infringe trademarks, design rights or patents, and tangible pirated products, which breach copyright. These include luxury items such as handbags and fashion apparel to machine parts and medicines.

Seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods: Top economies of origin of right holders whose IP rights are infringed

The report suggests that up to 5 per cent of all goods imported into the European Union are bogus, with the vast majority of such products originating in China.

US, Italian and French brands are the hardest hit by counterfeit and pirated goods, followed by Switzerland, Japan and Germany.

The leading method for shipping fake goods remains postal parcels, the survey shows.

“The findings of this new report contradict the image that counterfeiters only hurt big companies and luxury goods manufacturers. They take advantage of our trust in trademarks and brand names to undermine economies and endanger lives,” said OECD deputy secretary-general Doug Frantz.

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