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OHIM Study on economic loss through fake sports equipment is a call for further action against counterfeits

Thursday, 10 September, 2015

The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) believes today’s publication by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) of a study on the economic costs of counterfeiting on the sports goods sector is a wake-up call for further action against counterfeit sporting goods.

The study shows that counterfeit sports equipment, such as footballs, helmets, golf clubs, tennis rackets and skis, cost the industry €500 million every year. Every year, an additional €360 million is lost across the EU due to the indirect effects of counterfeiting of sports equipment – as manufacturers buy fewer goods and services from suppliers, causing knock-on effects in other areas.

The study also shows that some 2800 jobs are lost annually due to manufacturers selling less and needing to employ fewer people. As the manufacturers and distributors of counterfeit goods do not pay tax or VAT, a further €150 million is lost in government revenues.

A similar study on clothing, footwear and accessories, including sport clothing and footwear, published in July 2015 showed that €26.3 billion of revenue is lost annually by the sector for these products.

“Counterfeit sporting goods can be dangerous for consumers and can disappoint many performing physical activities” FESI Secretary General Alberto Bichi commented. “ This study clearly shows that the economic impact of counterfeiting should also not be neglected. This a call for all parties involved to step-up the fight against fake sporting goods, e.g. through effective legislation combating the sale of fakes on line and increased cooperation between public and private authorities”, he added.