EU manufacturers lose billions of euros annually as a result of a rising flood of counterfeit goods being brought into the bloc, a fresh report has shown. The situation is expected to get even worse in the years ahead.
Manufacturers in the European Union suffer revenue losses of €60 billion ($70 billion) annually as a result of counterfeit goods, the EU's Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) revealed in a report published Wednesday.
It added that the situation was likely to get worse over the next couple of years, with revenue losses to reach as much as €85 billion per year.
"Lenient court sentences and high returns on capital are incentives for criminal gangs to engage in counterfeiting activities," the EU agency said in a statement.
The Alicante-based office noted that counterfeiters had become more sophisticated and now offered a broader range of goods, with almost all branded items, not just luxury goods, being imitated in the shadow economy.
No brands spared
The EUIPO survey analyzed 13 industries and their supply chains, finding that the most commonly counterfeited products included watches, shoes, perfume, cosmetics plus leather and tobacco products.
Low prices and "a low degree of social stigma" around purchasing counterfeit goods were among the reasons for consumers to buy them, the report stressed.
The study noted that Albania, Morocco and Ukraine were the main transit nations for fake goods entering the European Union.
A 2016 report by EUIPO identified Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey as the major sources of counterfeit goods in the EU.
hg/jd (dpa, AFP)