Trade in Fake Goods Has Worsened to Almost Half a Trillion Dollars

A man unloads counterfeit footwear, part of more than $200 million worth of counterfeit goods confiscated by police and customs officials, before they are destroyed in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines April 6, 2016. According to figures by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentTrade in fake goods has worsened to almost half a trillion dollars. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

PARIS, April 18 – Counterfeited and pirated goods accounted for up to 2.5 percent of world trade, or as much as $461 billion, significantly damaging companies and state coffers, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Monday.

The trade in fake products such as Louis Vuitton bags or Nike shoes has also worsened in the past decade, with a previous OECD study in 2008 estimating it at up to 1.9 percent of world imports or $200 billion.

The impact of counterfeiting is greater for rich countries – where most of the companies making the highly desirable branded goods are based – with the European Union importing up to 5 percent of fakes in 2013, or as much as $116 billion.

The Paris-based think-tank said China appeared as the largest producer of counterfeited products, but that the intellectual property rights of Chinese companies had also been frequently infringed.

The OECD cited the post-financial crisis revival in trade, the emergence of globalised value chains and booming e-commerce as reasons for the rise in pirated goods trade since 2008.

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