Knockoff products cost governments and major retailers billions of dollars every year. Here’s how counterfeiters continue to beat the system.
Counterfeiting is a booming business. In 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce estimated the total value of counterfeit or pirated goods around the world to be $1.77 trillion, reports ChinaDaily. The counterfeit market has a significant impact on the budgets of countries and companies alike, with billions of dollars lost in tax revenue and earnings. This year, the European Commission reported that sales lost to fake clothing and accessories added up to roughly 10% of the industry’s revenue in Europe, according to the Economist.
Yet even as governments manage to seize counterfeit goods with increasing frequency, more and more phony products are finding their way into American and European markets. So where do these products come from? And how do they get through customs and into the hands of eager buyers?