Shell Corporations Impede Action on Counterfeiters

The global counterfeit trade is a gigantic business which is constantly growing, getting all the more complex and organised with each year that passes. Whilst most counterfeit products are manufactured in China or Hong Kong, their shipping routes and retailers are a tangled web of cul-de-sacs and fake names. Shell corporations, companies that exist practically solely on paper, with neither employees nor warehouses yet perhaps a bank account, play an important role in hiding the true identity of counterfeiters.

While authorities and border security regularly seize counterfeit goods and ban fraudulent retailers from online marketplaces, these are but the tip of the iceberg. As with any illegal goods on the market, authorities aim to get as deep into the value chain as possible in order to pull the weed out by its root. However, regardless of how deep they dig, shell companies and dead-ends lie around each corner.

Many are now calling for national governments to take action against shell companies, and adapt legislation that requires more information about the person forming a company. This would allow authorities to at least investigate corporations suspected of involvement in criminal activity, instead of being met with yet another dead-end.


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