06 | 07 | 2017

The Study on Mapping the Real Routes of Trade in Fake Goods Published

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published the study titled “Mapping the Real Routes of Trade in Fake Goods“. The current study was conducted jointly by the EUIPO and the OECD and it represents the follow-up of the 2016 study titled “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact”.

The study analyses which countries and economies are crucial in the production of counterfeits and provides an insight into the most important transit points for trade in such goods. The analysis identifies ten main sectors of products that are assessed to be particularly vulnerable to counterfeiting and piracy, which span a wide range of products protected by intellectual property rights, including consumer goods such as foodstuff or cosmetics, and products such as spare parts and computer chips. The combined trade of fakes in these sectors account for EUR 208 billion in 2013, which represents more than half of total estimated trade in fake goods.

In the study, China emerges as the top producer of counterfeit goods in nine out of ten analysed categories, and other Asian countries, like India, Thailand, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Vietnam, are important big producers in many sectors. Turkey takes a special place as the main producer of counterfeit products made of leather, foodstuff and cosmetics, which are sent by road to the EU Member States.

Furthermore, the study identifies important transit points for trade in counterfeits to be Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Singapore, which are handling trade in counterfeit goods in all the ten sectors analysed by the study. Regional transit points for distribution of fake goods destined for the EU countries are Albania, Egypt, Morocco and Ukraine, whereas Panama is a regional transit point for the USA, and several Middle Eastern countries for Africa. The data of the study also show that small shipments and parcels tend to dominate numerous trade routes, reflecting the shrinking costs of postal and courier shipments and the increasing importance of Internet and e-commerce in international trade. Shipments with fewer than ten items accounted for about 43% of all shipments, on average.

The published study is available at the following link.


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