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EU Companies Lose €16 Billion Annually to Counterfeits, Thousands of Jobs Affected

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European manufacturers in the clothing, cosmetics, and toy industries are losing approximately €16 billion in revenue annually due to counterfeit goods and illegal copies, according to a report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). 

This loss in revenue has also led to the closure of around 200,000 jobs.

EUIPO Executive Director Joao Negrao highlighted the tangible costs of counterfeit goods, noting a significant impact on consumer safety, brand integrity, and the broader EU economy. “The latest research reveals the real costs reflected in reduced sales and job losses across the EU,” he stated.

Significant losses are reported in the German toy industry, accounting for a third of the total revenue lost, as per the DPA agency. The clothing sector faces nearly €12 billion in lost revenue annually, which is about 5.2% of its total turnover.

Cosmetics and toy manufacturers also report substantial losses due to counterfeits and copies. The cosmetics industry has seen a revenue reduction of €3 billion, a 4.8% drop, while the toy industry has lost €1 billion in revenue, decreasing by 8.7%.

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The impact of counterfeit goods extends to the job market as well. EUIPO’s research, conducted from 2018 to 2021, indicates that counterfeits have led to the loss of 160,000 jobs in the clothing sector, 32,000 in cosmetics, and 3,600 in the toy industry.

Consumer behavior studies show that the primary reason for purchasing counterfeit versions of well-known brands is the high cost of originals. One-third of Europeans find this a justifiable motive, a sentiment that rises to 50% among younger demographics.

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