EUIPO and OECD Study: Counterfeits Arriving by Sea Carry 56% of the Total Value of Detained Goods

May 5 2021 - 13:57

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published a study on the misuse of containerized maritime shipping in the global trade of counterfeits. The study shows that one of the main channels for the transport of counterfeit goods is container shipping – 56% of the total value of all detained counterfeits in the EU between 2014 and 2016 was transported in container ships.

Although 57% of all counterfeit items detained between 2014 and 2016 were discovered in parcels sent through postal services and only 10% concerned maritime shipping, counterfeits arriving via container ships dominate in terms of the value of the detained goods. While X-ray or gamma ray scanning can detect illegal drugs and weapons, detecting fake goods requires physical searches in order to effectively determine if a container is used for smuggling counterfeits. However, in the EU only about 2% of incoming containers are inspected this way.

According to the report, 79% of the total value of counterfeits detained in maritime containers worldwide originated from China. More than 50% of containers transported in 2016 by ships from the top provenance economies for counterfeit goods entered the EU through Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The study also shows that in 2016, counterfeit products worth approximately EUR 121 billion (USD 146 billion) flowed into the EU, contributing to 6.8% of all imports. This caused EUR 83 billion (USD 100 billion) worth of losses to EU companies and EUR 15 billion (USD 18 billion) worth of losses to EU countries, while it also resulted in 610,000 jobs lost.

Prepared by: Erika Farkas

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Source: EUIPO and Hungarian IPO websites

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