Illegal Products

The regulation on a single market for digital services or digital services act  proposed by the European Commission in 2020 would extend the scope of potential violations for spreading illegal content to include illegal products.Though not yet clearly defined, these products would likely fall into two categories: goods that infringe intellectual property rights, such as counterfeit and pirated articles; and dangerous or non-legally compliant goods, such as endangered species or explosives.

To date, online trade in these areas has been managed through a process of “self-regulation” similar to the ones that already govern Internet activities in problem places such as hate speech and the fight against terrorism. As regards illegal goods, two multistakeholder agreements sit at the centre of the system:

There is also a well-developed legal infrastructure for dealing with trade in illegal products, including the general product safety directive (2001), the regulation concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals (2012), the directive on combating terrorism (2017) and the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).

But despite this plethora of initiatives, there is still no standard definition for what does or does not constitute a “counterfeit” or “pirated” good in the EU. The regulation on customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) infringements, for one, defines counterfeit goods as goods that infringe on trademark or geographical indications. But in other agreements to which the EU is signatory and which the EU routinely uses as a basis for its own rulemaking, such as the World Trade Organisation agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS), counterfeit goods are defined as goods that infringe on trademarks only. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union Intellectual Property Office have an even broader definition. In Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, the OECD and EUIPO include in the definition of counterfeit “goods that infringe trademarks, design rights or patents.”


 

Records 31 - 40 of 47


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Number of Counterfeit Items Seized by the European Union Authorities

The chart presents the number of counterfeit items detained by the European Union authorities over the period 2017 - 2020, based on the results of the report "Intellectual Property Crime: Threat Assessment 2022," published in March 2022 by EUIPO and Europol. The data shows that, in 2020, approximately 66 million counterfeit items were seized by authorities in the EU, with 69.7% of them seized in the EU internal market and 30.3% at the EU borders. Compared to 2019, the volume of counterfeit items detained in 2020 declined by 13%.
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Online and Offline Sales of Counterfeit Dangerous Goods in the European Union

The chart presents the distribution of online and offline sales of dangerous counterfeit products in EU in the period 2017-2019, based on the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office report "Dangerous Fakes: Trade in Counterfeit Goods that Pose Health, Safety and Environmental Risks," published in March 2022. The report shows that while online sales represented 60% of global seizures of dangerous products destined to the EU, when it come to seized value, it amounts to only 11% of global seized value. European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
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Product Categories Most Subject to Counterfeiting and Piracy Goods, 2013 and 2016

The chart shows the distribution of the product categories most subject to counterfeiting and piracy, in 2013 and 2016, based on the results of the OECD-EUIPO report on illegal trade. The report shows that product categories "Footware", "Clothing, knitted or crocheted" and "Articles of leather" have the highest propensity of being subject to counterfeit and piracy.
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Product Categories of Counterfeit Dangerous Goods Purchased Online

The chart presents the main categories of dangerous products destined to the European Union purchased online in the period 2017-2019, based on the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office report "Dangerous Fakes: Trade in Counterfeit Goods that Pose Health, Safety and Environmental Risks," published in March 2022. The report shows that among dangerous counterfeit products purchased online, 46% were cosmetics items, followed by clothing (18%), toys and games (17%) and automotive spare parts (8%). For some of the other categories of products displayed on the chart the value of data are approximate, determined with pixel count, as these values are not explicitely mentioned in the source. European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
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Share of Identified Product Listings Removed Within Two Working Days (2018-2020)

The chart presents the key performance indicators for monitoring the implementation of the Product Safety Pledge, over the period 2018 - 2020. The KPIs for the periods represent the arithmetic average of the percentages provided by the four signatories, they do not represent the weighted average according to the number of products reported. The method is valid for periods October 2018 - March 2019 and April 2019 - September 2019. For the period October 2019 - May 2020, a different method of calculus was used for KPIs, making the latest values not comparable with the previous values reported.
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Share of Identified Product Listings Removed Within Two Working Days (2018-2021)

The chart presents the key performance indicators for monitoring the implementation of the Product Safety Pledge, over the period October 2018 - November 2021. The KPIs for the periods represent the arithmetic average of the percentages provided by the four signatories, they do not represent the weighted average according to the number of products reported. The method is valid for periods October 2018 - March 2019 and April 2019 - September 2019. For the period October 2019 - May 2020, a different method of calculus was used for KPIs, making the latest values not comparable with the previous values reported. From June 2020 onwards, for the following reportings, the signatories of the Product Safety Pledge provide absolute numbers of the dangerous products identified and removed to facilitate easier monitoring and comparability for future reports.
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The Detriment Suffered by European Union Consumers and Society per Year Due to Product-Related Injuries (2017)

The chart presents the estimated prejudice caused by all product-related injuries to consumers in the European Union in 2017, based on the results of the impact assessment study realised for the evaluation of the General Product Safety Directive and its potential revision for the European Commission. The results show an estimate of 76.6 billion euro per year in financial prejudice to EU consumers and society due to product-related injuries. Out of the total amount, 48% of this prejudice is related to non-fatal injuries. These estimates exclude losses caused by work and transportation accidents.
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The Estimated Share of Unsafe Products on the Market (2020)

The chart presents the estimates of the share of unsafe products on the market according to different stakeholders' groups in the European Union, based on the results of the impact assessment study realised for the evaluation of the General Product Safety Directive and its potential revision for the European Commission. The results were obtain from a survey conducted by Civic Consulting on 153 stakeholders (27 of consumer organisations and other general stakeholders, 48 of authorities, 37 of business associations and 41 of companies), who answer the question "In your view, what is the best estimate of the share of unsafe products on the market in your area of activity (i.e. the estimated number of unsafe products per 100 products sold on the market)?" The average values are calculated based on 100 (brick-and-mortar)/105 (online) stakeholders that had expressed an opinion (out of all respondents 53/48 indicated "Don’t know" or provided no answer).
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The Evolution of the Number of E-commerce Jobs (2008-2018)

The chart presents the evolution of the e-commerce jobs since 2008, in eigth European countries. Data refers to the number of employees in the trade sector G4791: Retail sale via mail order houses or via Internet for the period 2008 - 2018.
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The Evolution of the Number of Retail Jobs (2008-2018)

The chart presents the evolution of the e-commerce jobs since 2008, in eigth European countries. Data refers to the number of employees in the trade sector G47: Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles, excluding the subsector G478: Retail sale via stalls and markets.