"Too good to be true? The real price of fake products". The European Commission initiative on fighting counterfeiting
The Vice President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani and Commissioner Michel Barnier launched a consumer awareness campaign with the objective of alerting on the dangers of counterfeit goods, helping counter the risks to citizens and businesses posed by counterfeit goods as well as to promote closer cooperation between the European Commission, national authorities, consumers, producers and trade associations to stop the production and circulation of counterfeit goods, calling on all Europeans to make a stand against fake products and buy original products.
Fake products – some figures
- The global volume of trade in fake goods stands at over €200 billion per year;
- Between 2010 and 2011, the volume of fake articles detained by European customs grew by 11%;
- In 2009, the value of the top 10 brands in EU countries amounted to almost 9% of GDP;
- Fashion and high-end personal products encompass 54% of the total value of goods detained at EU borders;
- In 2011 alone, 115 million fake goods were detained at the EU borders, with an overall value of over €1.2 billion;
- Almost one third of the articles detained by EU customs in 2011 were found to be potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers.
Fake goods are bad for citizens’ pockets
Buying fake goods is not a bargain. Fake products are not made to the same standards and typically have to be replaced more often. Original products must pass a number of quality controls to ensure that they are safe.
Fake goods undermine trust in Internet shopping
The Internet has opened up vast trading possibilities and allows citizens to have a wider choice of goods and to find the best bargains across the European single market.
Keeping fakes at bay: a responsible choice
In Europe, workers are protected from exploitation and children are not forced to work. But dealers in fake goods don’t have reputations to protect and can mistreat workers – even children, forced to work in sweatshops – as much as they like.
Fakes are bad for jobs
Sales of genuine articles are the basis of employment. When original products are purchased, jobs are created and maintained in Europe. But fake goods create unfair competition for European artisans and businesses, harming legitimate enterprises and increasing unemployment. The impact on jobs is particularly severe for fashion and high-end products, such as textiles, garments, leather ware, shoes, watches and jewellery. These represent over half the total value of imitation goods detained by customs.