A report published earlier this week by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has revealed that the total value of counterfeit and pirated products traded across borders worldwide in 2016 amounted to 509 billion US dollars, which accounts to 3.3 percent of world trade.
The value traded shows a 10.4 percent growth from 461 billion US dollars (2.5 percent of world trade) in 2013 despite the fact that worldwide trade volumes of legitimate goods stagnated over the past few years.
The report has further revealed that with a combined share of more than 75 percent, China and Hong Kong are by far the biggest source countries for fake goods, distantly followed by Turkey, Singapore, and Germany who all accounted for a low single-digit share of global customs seizures in 2016.
Looking at the countries most affected by counterfeits paints a slightly more diverse picture. Companies based in the United States accounted for 24 percent of the total value of counterfeit products seized by customs around the world between 2014 and 2016.
The products seized were found to be infringing on intellectual property rights of companies based in the United States, with French, Italian and Swiss companies also heavily affected.
The report by OECD has revealed that the footwear industry is the most affected industry in the world by counterfeit products.
Considering that some of the largest footwear brands generate tens of billions in sales every year, it doesn’t come as a surprise that counterfeiters would target the footwear industry and try to profit from the global sneaker and luxury shoe craze.
Footwear accounted for 22 percent of the total value of counterfeit goods seized by customs in 2016, making it the most pirated product category, ahead of clothing, leather goods, and electrical equipment.
A report released by the Anti-Counterfeits Agency in Kenya earlier this year revealed that more than 70 percent of Kenyans use counterfeit goods.
The mobile phone industry is most hit having accounted for 51.8 percent of all the total counterfeit goods in the country. Alcohol came in second with 30.8 percent, DVD players at 26.4 percent, and bottled water at 24 percent.
The least counterfeited goods in Kenya include stationery with 2.16 percent compared to 2.7 percent fake ones in the market as of 2014 and 2010 respectively.