Counterfeit toys cause billions in losses in the EU

Counterfeit toys and games inflict financial damages in the sum of roughly 2.2 billion euro each year on European countries, according to a new study of the OHIM. This translates to annual revenue losses of more than 12% for the toys industry.

The report, published in mid-December by the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), deals with the devastating consequences of counterfeits in the toys and games industry*: Counterfeited products cost the original manufacturers in the EU some 1.4 billion euro each year. Another 850 million euro in revenue are lost in related branches.

More than 6,100 jobs have been lost as a direct result of the revenue losses in the branch, which consists predominately of small and mid-sized businesses. If one considers the indirectly affected sectors, the figure rises to more than 12,000 jobs.

With 40% of the production in the EU (ca. 2.7 billion euro in 2012), Germany is the largest game and toy producer in the EU. The effects of brand piracy on German manufacturers are accordingly large: German businesses lose some 10.9% of their annual revenues due to counterfeited toy products such as puppets, action figures, stuffed animals, board games, model trains, and puzzles. German firms register the largest losses among EU member states.

The report on the effects of counterfeiting in the toys and games industry is one in a series of studies in which the OHIM seeks to document the threat of counterfeiting and brand piracy. Previously the agency published reports regarding damages from counterfeits in the cosmetics, clothing and sporting goods industries (see links for our German-language reports).

“Through this reporting, we aim to help policymakers in their work, by providing data and evidence-based studies, and to help consumers make more informed choices.“

*Video game consoles and their software as well as bicycles were excluded from the study.

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