Global Counterfeit Trade Increasing at Alarming Rate
Anti-counterfeiting measures are climbing on global authorities’ lists of priorities and a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) demonstrates why. The report shows that the global trade of counterfeit products is growing at extremely alarming rates, demonstrating that as much as 3.3% of world trade in 2016 was made up of counterfeit and pirated goods. This amounted to an astonishing USD 509 billion.
This constitutes over half a trillion US dollars that potentially went to financing gangs and criminal activity instead of going to legitimate businesses and brand owners. Furthermore, the report showed a constant increase in the counterfeit trade at a time when global trade stagnated, showing the resilience of the fraudulent business and the growing need for anti-counterfeiting measures.
According to the study, new developments within the trade include a growing number of counterfeit goods being transported in small packages by regular or express postal services. Illegal products are commonly imported using complex trading routes and often passing through free trade zones which make it all the more difficult to track the shipments.
The products most commonly targeted by counterfeiters are pharmaceutical goods, perfumes and makeup, electronics, mechanical parts, medical equipment and luxury items, however the number of industries affected is growing. Significant effort is required by all stakeholders in order to stop the counterfeiting industry from gaining further ground.