EU toy industry loses €1.4bn a year to fake goods

The UK is the second worst hit by counterfeiters, with 11.6 per cent of the toy and game’s sector sales lost to fake products annually.
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Counterfeit copies of top selling games such as Pie Face or Shopkins are costing toy firms up to €1.4 billion across the EU each year.

A new report from the Office of Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) has revealed that across the territory, 12.3 per cent of toys and games sales are being lost due to fake goods.

The UK is the second worst hit by counterfeiters, with 11.6 per cent of the toy and game’s sector sales lost to fake products annually.

However, it is the German market that emerges as the most affected, with the presence of counterfeit toys and games costing €327 million a year, 10.9 per cent of the value of production.

The latest finding also suggest that across Europe, the loss translates into 6,150 jobs, as the report discovered that legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting.

Released by OHIM acting through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, covers the manufacture of dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, board games, toy musical instruments, model trains and puzzles.

“We are completing a picture of the economic impact of counterfeiting in a dozen economic sectors across the EU,” said Antonio Campinos, president of OHIM.

“Today’s report shows us the extent to which the toys and games sector is impacted by the presence of counterfeits in the market.”

The report itself emerges as discount retailer B&M finds itself at the centre of the latest counterfeit goods scandal, as last week saw Hasbro order the outlet to remove its stock of fake copies of the hit family game, Pie Face from its shelves.

Hasbro’s action highlights it no tolerance approach to handling reports of counterfeit products, an issue that is costing up to €370 in government revenue across the EU in lost VAT, income tax, social security contributions and tax on company profits.

“Through our report, we aim to help policy makers in their work by providing data and evidence-based studies, and help consumers make more informed choices,” continued Campinos.

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