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A joint report by Europol and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found that 5.8% of EU imports are counterfeit and pirated goods. This amounts to a value of around €119 billion, with the loss of sales due to counterfeiting put at €83 billion per year.
If you have been accused of producing or selling counterfeit goods, we can help you. Our fraud and financial crime solicitors represent clients across England and Wales. Contact us now for a free, confidential enquiry. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Detection of counterfeit goods has decreased
The report – titled the Intellectual Property Crime Theft Assessment 2022 – confirms that piracy and counterfeiting was rife during the pandemic. Despite this, the detection of fake goods by customs authorities has actually decreased over the past three years, as the impact of Covid-19 meant fewer seizures took place. The pandemic also presented new opportunities for counterfeiters, as certain items have been in high demand. Semiconductor chips, for example, have become a targeted commodity due to a global supply shortage.
The impact of crime
The report highlights the impact of criminal activity, stating that the total loss of sales due to counterfeiting is put at more than €83 billion a year. The loss of sales corresponds to losses estimated at €15 billion in tax revenue and 671,000 jobs. The companies that have been damaged the most are located in the USA, France, Germany and Italy.
This type of crime also poses a threat to health and safety, says the report. This is particularly true where the products are fake medicines, food, drink, cosmetics, electrical goods and toys. Counterfeit toys, for instance, are not subject to the proper safety tests. They also have no warnings or advice on the packaging. Counterfeit pesticides can damage the environment, and electrical items are at risk of electrical faults and overheating.
Counterfeit goods on the EU’s radar
While counterfeiting has been on the rise in recent years, the report demonstrates that the problem is firmly on the EU’s radar. Europol is dedicated to supporting member states in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime and organised crime. It works with various authorities across different jurisdictions to tackle criminal activity. Now the effects of the pandemic are waning, this could well become a high priority for law enforcement – both here in the UK and abroad.
If you have been accused of fraud or a financial crime, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We defend those who have been linked to the counterfeiting and piracy of goods. These cases are often complex, as they typically involve a multi-jurisdictional element. We specialise in this area of law and know how to help you.
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