A joint EUIPO-OECD study which was published in October 2021 analysis the scale of the worldwide e-commerce and the trade of counterfeit goods in EU region.
E-commerce has been expanding rapidly in recent years especially by the engagement of B2C type businesses in online sales of goods. According to the study, the rise of B2C is about 41% in major economies. This increase was also fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this situation also led to the increase in the trade of the fake / counterfeit goods. The study finds that the fake goods that are purchased via e-commerce are shipped as small parcels and have been sent through postal services.
According to the report of EU, 91% of detentions of counterfeit goods are in small parcels linked to e-commerce.
The study reveals that during the period from 2015 to 2019, parcel traffic rose by more than 70%. The small shipments (small parcels to be shipped directly to consumers) are preferred as a way of trading the fake goods in e-commerce.
Counterfeits: Footwear, clothing, perfumes & cosmetics, toys and so on...
According to the study, China is leading the share of the total counterfeit goods related to e-commerce (75.9%). The types of the counterfeit goods in e-commerce that are subject to EU detentions include the following items: Footwear (33.7% of total detentions), clothing (17.3%), perfumes and cosmetics (9.6%), leather articles (8.7%), electrical machinery and equipment (6.5%), toys (5.5%) and watches (5.2%).
Also, the report argues the concern that the authorities of the postal offices and the customs offices are not well prepared to examine the shipments of small parcels for counterfeits.
This study clearly demonstrates that the trade of counterfeit goods by e-commerce is very dynamic and attractive for the counterfeiters. Therefore EU, governments and OECD should develop new policies and practices against the trading of counterfeit goods via e-commerce.