In 2005, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched a project to assess the magnitude and impact of counterfeiting and piracy globally. The results of this project were published in 2008 in a report titled “The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy.” The report stated, among other statistics, that international trade in counterfeit and pirated products accounted for possibly as much as 1.9% of world imports, or as much as US $200 billion, in 2005. Furthermore, the report gave detailed suggestions as to how governments can combat counterfeiting and piracy, both independently and collaboratively.
On April 18, 2016, the OECD published an update to this report, titled “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact,” which highlighted that trade in counterfeit goods has increased by more than 80% in five years, increasing from US $250 billion annually in 2008 to more than US $461 billion in 2013. Additionally, the report determined that counterfeit products now represent more than 2.5% of all world trade—including 5% of all imports into the European Union.
While this report draws some of the same conclusions as those found in the 2008 report (that counterfeiting affects a broad range of industries, that counterfeit and pirated products originate from virtually all economies on all continents, and that the highest number of counterfeit shipments being seized originate from East Asia, with China in the lead with an estimated 900,000 seizures in 2013), it also shows that counterfeiting evolves concurrently with the evolution of the modern world. For example, while counterfeiters have improved their knowledge of logistics networks, their manipulation of transit routes, and the exploitation of governance gaps, they are also taking advantage of the growth in online shopping and the online market. According to the report, postal parcels are the top method of shipping counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for an estimated 62% of seizures between 2011 and 2013, reflecting the growing importance of online commerce in international trade.
The top countries with companies whose intellectual property rights were infringed by counterfeit products seized between 2011 and 2013 were the United States (20%), Italy (15%), France (12.1%), Switzerland (11.7%), Japan (8.2%), and Germany (7.5%).
For the full report, click here.