April 18, 2016 / 10:17 AM / 2 years ago

Trade in fake goods has worsened to almost half a trillion dollars: OECD

PARIS (Reuters) - Counterfeited and pirated goods accounted for up to 2.5 percent of world trade, or as much as $461 billion, significantly damaging companies and state coffers, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Monday.

A fake LVMH handbag (R) purchased and shipped from a China -ased online website is pictured next to products on display at a Louis Vuitton store in Chevy Chase, Maryland, October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

The trade in fake products such as Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA) bags or Nike shoes (NKE.N) has also worsened in the past decade, with a previous OECD study in 2008 estimating it at up to 1.9 percent of world imports or $200 billion.

The impact of counterfeiting is greater for rich countries - where most of the companies making the highly desirable branded goods are based - with the European Union importing up to 5 percent of fakes in 2013, or as much as $116 billion.

The Paris-based think-tank said China appeared as the largest producer of counterfeited products, but that the intellectual property rights of Chinese companies had also been frequently infringed.

The OECD cited the post-financial crisis revival in trade, the emergence of globalized value chains and booming e-commerce as reasons for the rise in pirated goods trade since 2008.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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