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 problem has intensified to staggering levels, and the OECD reports a 154% increase in counterfeits traded internationally, from $200 billion in 2005 to $509 billion in 2016. Similar information collected by US Customs during 2000 to 2018, shows that seizures of infringing goods at US borders has increased 10-fold, from 3,244 to 33,810. Up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are fakes, with China listed as the top producer. (OECD & EUIPO, 2016). Widespread counterfeiting and piracy divert profits and potential tax revenues to actors in 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:
Buy Safe America Coalition
U.S. Awareness Campaign
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
eCommerce and Fraudulent Advertising TRACIT Principles & Positions
Multi-Association Letter to US President Biden on IP issues and appointments, February 17, 2021
TRACIT response to US PTO Call for Comment on the Issue of Secondary Trademark Infringement Liability in the E-Commerce Setting, January 21, 2021
TRACIT Submission to USTR 2020 Notorious Markets List, November 6, 2020
TRACIT endorses INFORM Consumers Act, Supports legislative measures to improve verification of online suppliers, July 30, 2020
TRACIT Letter to US Senator Grassley, supporting his outreach to Vice President Pence,
May 7, 2020
TRACIT letter to U.S. Vice President Pence, encouraging diligence to fighting counterfeiting online, (Co-signed) April 9, 2020
WHOIS Submission to the ICANN EPDP (co-signed, April 1, 2020
TRACIT Statement on Fake and Unsafe Products on Online Marketplaces to US House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, March 4, 2020
TRACIT Letter to US House
Co-sponsors of Shop Safe Act
March 3, 2020
WHOIS Call for Action (co-signed), February 28, 2020
TRACIT Letter to US Senate Finance Committee, How Statutory and
Regulatory Barriers Prevent the Sharing of Information on Counterfeits, December 9, 2019
TRACIT input to the Report on the U.S. State of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Trafficking and Recommendations, July 29, 2019
TRACIT submission to EU open public consultation on the Digital Services Act package, September 8, 2020
TRACIT Contribution to European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT), April 10, 2020
TRACIT submission to EU consultation on Watch-List, April 11, 2018
TRACIT submission to UK Digital Markets Taskforce on pro competitive measures for unlocking competition in digital markets, July 30, 2020
TRACIT submission to Brazil National IP Strategy August 30, 2020