Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from the Counterfeit Cigarette Study Forum.
Still all too often considered as a minor offence, industrial and commercial counterfeiting currently represents a real threat to both the global economy and consumers alike, to the environment or the stability of States.
While counterfeiting harms the companies that fall victim to it, therefore ruining innovation and destroying jobs, it hurts consumers, who put their health and safety at risk by purchasing products that do not meet the safety standards in force. It is also the source of significant losses in tax revenues for States, eventually resulting in declining growth and therefore fewer public services for citizens.
This phenomenon, which is becoming increasingly worrying, needs people to become fully aware of its consequences, along with a widespread mobilisation.
Despite a certain unity, there is still too much discrepancy between the perception of the consequences of counterfeiting and the findings made in the field by right holders and operational law enforcement services. The links between counterfeiting, organised crime and terrorism have been clearly proven and this report details a number of real examples in supporting the fact that counterfeiting is largely in the hands of major criminal networks and directly participates in the financing of terrorist groups.
This report aims to reveal all the ramifications of counterfeiting, including the very darkest. The items highlighted will accelerate the introduction of effective measures to bring a halt to the development of this phenomenon.
The fight against counterfeiting can be operational only if it is associated with the unified strengths of all, rights holders, customs, police and law enforcers, magistrates, intermediaries (sales, transport, payment, etc.), along with legislators and policymakers. The information of the last link in the chain–the consumer–is also crucial for an optimal result.
The Union des Fabricants (UNIFAB) was designated by the Prime Minister to represent the private sector in the inter-ministerial group on counterfeiting. It is with this report that our association of over 200 members (companies, groups, professional federations) representing all business sectors (luxury, medicines, software, sports, toys, automobile, consumer goods, perfumes and cosmetics, musical and cinematographic edition, wine and liquor, horticulture, etc.) wishes to take on its role.
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