06 June 2023
Counterfeiters' profits are draining from the UK economy, with estimates of £1.3 billion lost annually to the Exchequer. Despite the lack of public concern, we must remember that counterfeiters do not pay taxes and certainly do not build hospitals and schools. Moreover, the poly criminality threats, interplay with other forms of criminality, and serious and organised crime are evident, as reported by Interpol, Europol, and other international enforcement agencies.
The counterfeit goods trade is now closely linked with the illicit trade in people, drugs, weapons, modern-day slavery, corruption, and many new "digital organised economic crimes." The international criminal networks involved are relentless and have expanded their networks to facilitate access to markets worldwide. As a result, they are now able to flood countries with ever more dangerous products at an industrial scale and at lightning speed.
Last year, a combined report by the OECD and the European Intellectual Property Office indicated that global customs authorities had seized over 400,000 dangerous products. Other reports reveal that 30% of seized goods at borders are dangerous to consumers.
We must acknowledge that the UK is a major international target destination for this multi-faceted crimewave. Unless it becomes a priority, it will become a national security issue. On this World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, let us all pledge to take action and raise awareness to combat this growing problem.
ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.
Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.