Belgian companies lose 1.5 billion euros in sales each year to counterfeiting, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said in a report released on Thursday.
This represents 133 euros per capita each year, according to EUIPO, which worked out the cost of the lost sales, for Belgium and Europe, by analysing 11 key economic sectors known to be vulnerable.
In Belgium’s case, the losses are equivalent to 5% of sales in the 11 sectors,
Europe-wide losses to counterfeiting and piracy amount to 60 billion euros per year, which is 7.4% of total sales. Belgium is thus below the European average.
The level of lost sales in Europe was lower last year than in 2017 in all but two of the sectors studied: clothing, shoes and accessories, on one hand, and, on the other, cosmetics and personal care.
The figures also reflect an improvement in the data for Belgium, since the sales lost in 2017 were estimated at two billion euros, 183 euros per capita.
Clothing, footwear and accessories was the biggest of the sectors studied, in terms of volume of sales and employment. According to the estimates, the sector lost about 28.4 billion euros a year, which is 9.7% of all sales. In Belgium, the loss in this sector is estimated at about 542 million euros a year, about 8.6% of sales.