Romania Loses Almost a Half Billion Euros a Year Due to Counterfeit Trade
According to a study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office, Romania loses over 400 million Euros and 27,000 jobs per year due to counterfeit goods. The main counterfeited good imported into Romania is cigarettes, followed by consumer goods such as clothing, shoes, and electronics. This is a violation of Romanian companies’ intellectual property rights and deals a heavy blow to the Romanian economy.
The International Property Rights Index grades Romania as above average for intellectual property rights and rule of law. Unlike other countries who have the inability to enforce IP rights such as trademarks, Romania has shown it has the judicial independence and IP legislation to effectively enforce IP rights. Much of the counterfeit goods being sold in Romania are imports from elsewhere, including China, as well as neighboring Ukraine and Moldova.
It is estimated that counterfeit clothing, shoes, and accessories make up almost 10% of all EU sales in those sectors. Annually, legitimate businesses lose 43.3 billion Euros in sales across the EU due to trademark infringing products. Counterfeiters, aside from being an infringement on intellectual property rights, also have a negative effect on government revenues as they do not pay taxes. This leads to decreased VAT collections of about 8 billion Euros per year across the EU.
Countries like Romania will continue to suffer at the hands of counterfeit producers and smuggling rings until stricter IP enforcement is undertaken in these countries and around the world. The EU is currently analyzing new methods to improve IP enforcement, which could help the Romanian and other member-states afflicted by the problem.
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