Illicit trade in fake goods is a major challenge in an innovation-driven global economy. It has a negative impact on the sales and profits of affected firms, as well as broader adverse effects on the economy as well as public health, safety and security. Organised criminal groups are seen as playing an increasingly important role in these activities, using profits from counterfeiting and piracy operations to fund other illegal activities. Counterfeiters operate swiftly in the globalized economy, misusing free trade zones, taking advantage of many legitimate trade facilitation mechanisms and thriving in economies with weak governance standards.
A report released on 18 March 2019 by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates the total value of counterfeit and pirated goods traded worldwide to be EUR 460 billion. Today’s report, ‘Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods’ , updates the original analysis, made by the EUIPO and the OECD , released in 2016 , which estimated the total value of the global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods to be up to EUR 338 billion. The global increase is therefore considerable. In the EU, 6.8 % of all imports from third countries are now estimated to be counterfeit and pirated goods, worth up to EUR 121 billion. This, compared to the estimate of 5 % of EU imports presented in the 2016 report, constitutes a sharp rise.