According to research conducted by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), imports of counterfeit or pirated goods totaled no less than USD 509 billion in 2016. This is 3.3% of trade global.
China (decidedly all viruses come from there) was the main economy of origin of these containers, representing no less than 79% of the total value of sea containers containing counterfeit goods seized at globally, according to the OECD. Obviously, she is not the only one. Turkey, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Thailand are part of this list of source economies for counterfeit or pirated goods traded around the world.
How do these counterfeits travel between countries? According to the joint report by the OECD and EUIPO, more than half of the total value of counterfeit goods seized around the world are transported by sea.
The phenomenon has grown. Between 2014 and 2016, 82% of the value of counterfeit perfumes and cosmetics seized by customs authorities globally, 81% of the value of counterfeit clothing items and 73% of the value of food products, toys and counterfeit games seized by customs related to maritime transport.
We can measure the seriousness of this illegal traffic, which causes great damage to trademarks and copyright. Worse still, warns the OECD, counterfeit or pirated goods pose health and safety risks and lost revenue for businesses and governments.
Like the Ministry of Health, which protects citizens against pandemics, customs protects against fraudulent products that can cripple the economy. In addition, there is no vaccine against counterfeit.
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