EU seeks industry help in crackdown on counterfeit goods

EU Companies are being asked to crack down on fake goods under proposals unveiled on Wednesday by the European Commission.

The crackdown is amid estimates that 101 billion dollars worth of counterfeit or pirated products enter the European Union annually.

Counterfeiting accounts for 2.5 per cent of global trade, according to a 2016 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The commission, the EU’s executive, warned that small innovative companies were particularly at risk.

Among other things, the commission is working with industry to cut advertising revenue for websites offering counterfeit goods, restrict their access to payment services and encourage transport firms not to handle fake goods.

These measures can take effect more rapidly than legal action, the commission argues.

It has also provided new guidance on existing EU laws to protect intellectual property rights, with a view to ensuring that all member states apply them equally.

Sectors relying heavily on intellectual property account for 42 per cent of the EU’s gross domestic product and generate 38 per cent of jobs, the commission said.

They also contribute to the vast majority of EU exports.

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