Illicit trade in fake goods is a significant and growing threat in a globalised and innovation-driven economy, undermining good governance, the rule of law and citizens’ trust in government. It not only has a negative impact on the sales and profits of affected firms and on the economy in general, but also poses major health and safety threats to consumers.

To provide policy makers with robust evidence about this threat, the OECD carried out a series of analytical studies that deepen our understanding of the scale and magnitude of the problem. The results have been published in a set of reports starting with Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact (2016), and including the most recent ones Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (2019), and Illicit Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals (2020). As shown in these reports, trade in counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to up to 3.3% of world trade in 2016, and was an even higher share (6.8%) of imports into the EU.

This study employs an objective and quantitative methodology for such quantitative assessment of the scale and harmful effects of world trade in counterfeit goods on Swiss rights holders and the Swiss government. The analysis in this report relies primarily on a quantitative assessment using the tailored statistical methodologies developed by the OECD, drawing on data from a large dataset on customs seizures of intellectual property-infringing goods. The data refer to the pre-COVID period, and to reflect the additional dynamics introduced by the crisis, in-depth dialogues with enforcement, trade community and industry were carried out.

The findings can help both public and private sector decision-makers better understand the nature and scale of the Swiss economy's problem and develop appropriate, evidence-based policy responses.

This study was carried out under the auspices of the OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, which focuses on evidence-based research and advanced analytics to assist policy makers in mapping and understanding the vulnerabilities exploited and created by illicit trade.

This document was approved by the Public Governance Committee via written procedure on [tbc] and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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