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EUIPO’s and OECD’s Study on the Misuse of Containerized Maritime Shipping in the Global Trade of Counterfeits

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The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published a study dealing with the analysis of the scale of misuse of containerized maritime transport for trade in counterfeit goods. The study was prepared in cooperation between the EUIPO and the OECD, and it is published as originally titled “Misuse of Containerized Maritime Shipping in the Global Trade of Counterfeits”.

Illicit trade in counterfeits and pirated goods is a growing global problem. This is why the OECD and the EUIPO carried out a series of analytical studies related to these forms of illicit trade, aiming at establishing facts and collecting evidence necessary to adopt appropriate policies and strategies in combatting these negative phenomena.

Transportation and distribution of products internationally involves a number of business entities, where the transport operators include small parcel shippers such as express courier companies and postal services, rail and truck carriers, air cargo companies and seaborne vessels including containerships.

The study shows that seaborne transport plays an important role in world trade, accounting for more than 80% of the volume of merchandise traded internationally, and more than 70% of the total value of trade. Containerships boosted efficiency and greatly reduced the overall cost of international trade, but they are also being often misused for transport of counterfeit products as well as other kinds of illicit products, even illicit transportation of migrants.

Although the highest number of customs seizures of counterfeit and pirated products concern postal parcels, it is sea transport that is the most concerned one in terms of seized value. Thus, during 2016, 56% of the value of customs seizures of IP-infringing goods worldwide concerned sea shipments.

In the period from 2014 to 2016, the largest number of shipments with counterfeit goods by containerships originated from China (Table on p. 42).

The study data for the European Union show that over half of containers transported in 2016 by ships from major counterfeits provenance countries entered the EU through Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to up to 3.3 % of world trade in 2016.

The full report and an informative summary in Croatian can be accessed via the following link.

Datum novosti: 03/03/2021