World Footwear


Counterfeit goods make up 2.5% of global imports

Apr 20, 2016 World
Counterfeit goods make up 2.5% of global imports
Global trade in fake and pirated goods is estimated to be worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
“Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact” estimates the worldwide value of imported fake goods to have reached 461 billion US dollars. This compares to a total imports in world trade of 17.9 trillion US dollars, resulting in approximately 2.5% of global import involving counterfeit goods.

The same source estimates that up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are fakes, originating mostly from middle income or emerging countries, with China as the top producer.

The report, analyzing nearly half a million customs seizures around the world over the period 2011-13, points to a larger volume than a 2008 OECD study which estimated fake goods accounted for up to 1.9% of global imports. The report covers all physical counterfeit goods, which infringe trademarks, design rights or patents, and tangible pirated products, which breach copyright, but excludes online piracy.

“The findings of this new report contradict the image that counterfeiters only hurt big companies and luxury goods manufacturers. They take advantage of our trust in trademarks and brand names to undermine economies and endanger lives”, stated  OECD Deputy Secretary-General Doug Frantz, launching the report with EUIPO Executive Director António Campinos as part of OECD Integrity Week.  

Fake items can be found in the most varied categories of products, from handbags and perfumes to machine parts and chemicals, with footwear being the most-copied item.

According to the report, the top countries whose companies had their intellectual property rights infringed in the 2011-13 seizures were the United States (20%), Italy (15%), France (12%), Switzerland (12%), Japan (8%) and Germany (8%).

Postal parcels are the top method of shipping bogus goods, accounting for 62% of seizures over 2011-13, reflecting the growing importance of online commerce in international trade.