Online commerce, in particular, the development of electronic platforms, contributes to making counterfeit goods relatively easy to reach customers. Globally, counterfeit goods are on the rise, and intellectual property rights enforcement authorities publicly acknowledge that the quantity of goods seized is only a minimum of what gets to individual markets. The infringement of intellectual property rights is a significant problem, and due attention is also given to this issue in the European Union (EU) pays due attention to it (European Commission). This finding is also evidenced by a study on the production and trade of counterfeit goods, published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), mapping the situation in the individual EU Member States.
The main aim of the paper is to characterize and mapping of trends in the means of transporting counterfeits to EU countries between 2014-2018. The current trend of globalization and loosening in international trade gives criminal gangs the possibility of organized crime. These gangs make use of all available transport options (air, road, sea, postal, and others), and it is challenging to trace where counterfeit goods originate. The paper maps trends that occurred throughout the EU, whose market is affected by the transport of counterfeit goods. According to OECD and EUIPO reports, which assess, among other things, the rate of customs seizures of counterfeit goods, most counterfeits originate in East Asia (China, Hong Kong, India).
The paper is divided into four main parts. The introduction section summarizes the results of a literature review of relevant studies (EC, OECD, EUIPO) and papers published in the SCOPUS and Web of Science databases. In the second part of the paper, attention is paid to the results of a comparison of the statistics from 2014-2018 published by the European Commission. The statistics are based on seizures of individual parts of the Community and are provided to the European Commission by the Customs Administrations of the Member States of the European Union. The paper examines the number of cases, articles, and retail value of transporting counterfeits to the EU by air, express, post, rail, road, and sea. To compare the statistics and the graph of transport trends to visualize the number of cases, articles, and retail value of counterfeits concerning means of transport. These trends are mapped in the discussion section. By comparing the statistics, one can get an idea of the current state of the EU market, and based on statistical analysis, are constructed trend graphs. In conclusion, the main problematic aspects of the transport of counterfeits to the European Union are formulated. It is outlined how the transportation of Intellectual Property infringing items is likely to continue.