The International Chamber of Commerce (the “ICC”) has analysed the effect of counterfeiting on the G20 countries (‘Estimating the global economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy’, 2011). Its report concludes that counterfeiting costs governments and consumers approximately £53 billion annually in lost tax revenues and higher welfare spending. The OECD’s report estimated that the impact of counterfeiting on international trade resulted in £154 billion in losses in 2005, which the ICC projected would rise to £1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. Lost revenue inevitably leads to job losses, and the report estimates that 2.5 million jobs have been destroyed through counterfeiting and piracy. Furthermore, within the FMCG sector, counterfeit food and medicines are putting the personal health and safety of consumers at risk, resulting in an estimated loss of 3,000 lives annually in the G20 countries.
Studies in relation to the impact of counterfeiting on specific sectors have been undertaken by the EUIPO*. In the spirits and wine sector, counterfeit products amount to 3.3% of consumption in the EU, equalling £1.1 billion in lost sales. The EU cosmetics and personal care sector loses approximately £4 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit products including counterfeit shampoos, deodorants and make-up. This equals 7.8% of the sector’s sales.