Facts about counterfeiting

Counterfeited products have a severe impact in Sweden. Consumers are tricked into buying copies, in the belief that they are buying original products, and the value of such purchases is SEK 4.5 billion per year. Trade of counterfeited products is comprehensive and has major consequences for individual companies and consumers.

Swedish companies are losing earnings from the investments they have made, and Sweden is losing tax revenue. Thousands of Swedish jobs are lost. Moreover, counterfeited products represent unsatisfactory working conditions and products that can pose a risk to health and safety. Quite simply, consumers are being deceived.

Sweden particularly vulnerable

Swedish products are particularly vulnerable to be counterfeited with a view to the value of this illegal trade and when you look at the figures represented by illegal trade within certain product categories, such as spare parts for cars, machinery (ball bearings), clothes, toys and watches. Most of these counterfeited products come from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Turkey.

Counterfeiting in easy numbers

The estimates were made in 2016, the last year statistics were published by customs authorities worldwide.

  • In total, sales of counterfeited products of Swedish products amount to more than SEK 28 billion per year (corresponding to 2 percent of total sales of products manufactured in Sweden).
  • Sweden is losing more than SEK 7 billion per year in tax revenue (VAT, corporation tax, income tax and social security contributions).
  • In 2016, at least 7,100 jobs were lost in Sweden due to counterfeiting.
  • Annual revenue from pirate copy “Swedish” products amounts to SEK 29 billion.
  • Every year, Swedish businesses lose SEK 17.1 billion due to counterfeited products.
  • Imports to Sweden of counterfeited products amount to SEK 18.3 billion.
  • Around 50 percent of all counterfeited products imported to Sweden in 2016 were purchased by consumers who believed they were buying genuine products.
  • Counterfeited products purchased by consumers in good faith have a total value of SEK 4.5 billion per year.
  • It is estimated that 20 percent of all spare parts for cars sold in Sweden are fake.
  • Of all the perfumes and cosmetics sold in Sweden, 55 percent is estimated to contain fake products.

The consequences for Sweden studied for the first time

These figures come from a report compiled by the OECD and based on a study of the consequences of counterfeiting for Sweden. The study was commissioned by the Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV), and the report was published in the spring of 2019. This is the first time the consequences of counterfeiting for Sweden have been studied.

The report provides an estimate of both the effects of the import of counterfeited products to Sweden and the impact of the global trade of counterfeited products, where the holder of the intellectual property rights is, fundamentally, a Swedish company.

Brief summary, Counterfeiting and Piracy and the Swedish Economy (PDF, 4 MB)

Photo: Casper Hedberg