Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods
Apart from narcotics trafficking, counterfeiting and piracy account for the largest economic value of all forms of illicit trade. The OECD reports that counterfeiting and piracy in international trade alone has grown from US$ 250 billion annually in 2007 (OECD, 2009) to more than $461 billion in 2013, an increase of more than 80% in less than 5 years, and representing more than 2.5% of world trade (OECD & EUIPO, 2016). The widespread counterfeiting and piracy divert potential tax revenues to actors of the “underground economy”, while putting both the economy and the health and safety of consumers at risk.
Counterfeiting and piracy occur across multiple industry sectors and can extend to other and similar problems. For example, unbranded petroleum products and substandard pharmaceuticals may be considered fakes, but may not necessarily encompass an intellectual property (IP) infringement. Examples of digital illicit trade common to facilitating piracy of copyright works and live events—though storage, download and streaming—include cybercrimes and money-laundering in the financial system.
Counterfeiting and piracy activities distort marketplace competition for a wide range of sectors and both local and international brands. Other potential costs to business include:
Learn how counterfeit and piracy impacts the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
From smuggling, counterfeiting and tax evasion, to the illegal sale or possession of goods, services, humans and wildlife, illicit trade is compromising the attainment of the UN SDGs in significant ways, crowding out legitimate economic activity, depriving governments of revenues for investment in vital public services, dislocating millions of legitimate jobs and causing irreversible damage to ecosystems and human lives.
The TRACIT report Mapping the Impact of Illicit Trade on the Sustainable Development Goals investigates illicit trade in 12 key sectors that participate significantly in international trade and are most vulnerable to illicit trade. For each sector, the negative impacts of illicit trade are mapped against the 17 UN SDGs. The full report is available here.
Read the chapter: SDGs and illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods
TRACIT policy positions
TRACIT letter to US Senate
December 9, 2019
WHOIS Call for Action
February 28, 2020
TRACIT letter to US House
Cosponsors of Shop Safe Act
March 3, 2020
TRACIT Statement on Fake
and Unsafe Products on Online
Marketplaces to US House
Subcommittee on Consumer
March 4, 2020