A new study from OHIM, the EU's intellectual property agency, shows that the sale of fake clothes, shoes and accessories in the EU equals nearly 10 per cent of the total sales in the sector throughout the EU-28.
The lost revenue discovered by OHIM 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 employs fewer workers. 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.
Antonio Campinos, the President of OHIM 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.' Tuesday’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. The effects of counterfeit goods vary from country to country. For example, in the UK, legitimate retailers, manufacturers and distributors lost around €4.5 billion in sales and over 50,000 jobs (80,000 if indirect effects are added).