A special report on changes in the illicit trade of counterfeit products brought about by the pandemic and technological change.
As is the case with nearly all trade patterns, illicit trade in counterfeit goods has experienced a transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years. Supply-chain bottlenecks, significant shifts in demand, and the explosion of e-commerce have led to new opportunities for this trade.
This special report will take a closer look at some of the developments and the challenges they pose to industry and law enforcement.
Illicit trade in counterfeit goods remains a significant issue in EU trade and is most prevalent in product categories that show a large discrepancy between production costs and consumer prices. This can include watches, fake luxury handbags, and even fake COVID vaccines.
Deterrence and social pressure should play a more significant role in the fight against counterfeits given the economic damage they cause the EU, according to the executive director of the European intellectual property office (EUIPO).
As consumption patterns shifted online during the pandemic, e-commerce also became a key channel for trade in counterfeit products, posing a challenge to platforms and law enforcement.
With only a fraction of EU-bound containers controlled for counterfeits, a large majority of counterfeited products is guaranteed to find their European buyers unperturbed.
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