Over €26 billion and up to 363,000 jobs lost every year in the EU due to counterfeiting of clothes, shoes and accessories

counterfeitingThe manufacture and distribution of fake clothes, shoes and accessories (such as ties, scarves, belts and gloves) takes over €26 billion every year from legitimate EU businesses.

A new study from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), shows that the sale of fake clothes, shoes and accessories in the EU equals nearly 10% of the total sales in the sector throughout the EU-28.

That lost revenue translates into 363,000 lost jobs, as the legitimate manufacturers and retailers make and sell less than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting, and therefore employ fewer workers. The study, released through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, entrusted to OHIM, also assesses the indirect effect of the counterfeit trade.

When the knock-on effects on suppliers are taken into account, legitimate businesses across the EU lose €43.3 billion of sales revenue because of counterfeiting, with around 518,000 jobs lost. Since producers and sellers of fakes do not pay tax, social contributions and VAT, over €8 billion of government revenue across the EU-28 is not collected.

The President of OHIM, António Campinos, said: “With this report we can put a figure on the economic impact of counterfeiting, and its consequences in terms of lost revenue and jobs at EU level in the clothing, shoes and accessories sector. These results will not only help policy makers in their work, they will also help consumers make more informed choices.

Today’s report is part of a series of studies into the economic impact of counterfeiting in a number of sectors across the EU, which will be released over the coming months.

Source: Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market