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Key OHIM report on counterfeit clothing, shoes and accessories

The UK Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), which represents over 140 international brands, welcomes a vital, new, study from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU’s intellectual property agency.

The report confirms that the sale of fake clothing, shoes and accessories is having a dramatic impact on the sector, resulting in annual losses of 518,000 jobs and €43.3 billion in sales. This impacts hugely on the economies of countries across the EU in terms of lost revenue, which is used to support vital public services such as health and education.

The study reveals that in the UK alone the trade in fake clothes, shoes and apparel is costing UK manufacturers, retailers and distributors around 2.6 billion in lost sales and 40,000 jobs every year.

Alison Statham, ACG Director of Operations said, “the volume of counterfeit goods being sold and distributed in the UK is totally unacceptable.

Locations such as Bovingdon Market, Herts, and Cheetham Hill in Manchester are now internationally recognised “black markets” for illegal fake goods, worth millions of pounds every year. These hives of criminality result in massive losses of public revenue and trade, which is damaging local, regional and national economies. In addition, businesses and jobs are being destroyed, along with the prosperity and reputation of the whole country.

People need to be aware that the same people who make and supply these goods are also responsible for more dangerous fakes such as body care articles, medicines, toys and electrical household goods. In addition, both Interpol and Europol have recognised counterfeiting as organised crime and this important report will hopefully help to change society’s perception of counterfeiting as a harmless activity by helping to expose its worldwide economic and social harm.”