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Most counterfeit-affected companies revealed

March 20, 2019

New data released by Statista has shown the American companies which are most affected by counterfeiting.

Statista quotes a recent OECD report which states that in 2016, the total value of counterfeit or pirated products being traded across borders came to $509 billion (€448 billion), as much as 3.3 percent of all worldwide trade, figures which Statista calls “surprising,” even if you are aware of the ubiquity of fake products. That figure represents a rise from 2013’s total of $461 billion (€405.8 billion) or 2.5 percent of world trade, despite that fact that “worldwide trade volumes of legitimate goods stagnated over the past few years.”

According to Statista, China and Hong Kong are “by far” the biggest source countries for fake goods, followed (“distantly”) by Turkey, Singapore, and Germany, which all reach a low single-digit share of global customs seizures in 2016.

The countries most affected by the counterfeiting, however, “paints a slightly more diverse picture”, with the USA top of the list; between 2014 and 2016, 24 percent of the total value of seized counterfeit products were infringing the intellectual property of US-based countries, with French, Italian, and Swiss companies also registering a double-digit percentage. Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom were also affected.

By percentage, electrical equipment, including items such as printer cartridges, was the fourth most affected industry by counterfeiting in 2016, with 12 percent of fakes seized coming from that product group, the fourth highest. Ahead of electrical equipment was leather goods, on 13 percent, clothing, on 16 percent, and footwear out in front on 22 percent.

“Considering that some of the largest footwear brands generate tens of billions in sales every year, it doesn’t come as a surprise that counterfeiters would target the footwear industry and try to profit from the global sneaker and luxury shoe craze,” opined Statista.

The stark realities of the trade in counterfeit printer cartridges was highlighted earlier this year, when HP collaborated with authorities in the United Arab Emirates to seize nearly half a million fake HP-branded cartridges.

450,000 counterfeit products were confiscated in the UAE following a series of raids on “a number of clandestine workshops and private residences” in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, between July and December last year.

Continuing its analysis, Statista added that “the vast majority of fake or pirated products seized by customs authorities are shipped as small parcels,” citing that 69 percent of custom seizures taking place between 2014 and 2016 were carried by postal or express courier services. Furthermore, 85 percent of shipments intercepted contained fewer than ten items.




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