Every year, the OECD’s Illicit Trade series study records the current situation of global illegal trade. According to the study, the EU is particularly affected by international trade in counterfeit and pirated products, with around a quarter of all fakes flowing into the European Community in 2016. The counterfeit goods had a value of EUR 121 billion, or 6.8% of total EU imports. In 2013 it was still 5%.
Most of the counterfeits again came from China and Hong Kong. The sectors most affected were machinery and electronics with a value of USD 138 billion. In logistics, the trend is towards small shipments that can hardly be controlled. In addition, counterfeiters are trying to make their routes as complicated as possible. Important transshipment points for fake sales to the EU are Albania, Egypt, Morocco, and the Ukraine.
By combining small quantities with complicated routes, counterfeit products are difficult to track, and the effort for the authorities is enormous. It is therefore important to identify the Chinese manufacturers of the counterfeits by tracing them – for example by investigating distributors in third countries – and to combat them specifically in China.
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