OECD releases new report on global e-commerce and the impact of counterfeit goods

OECD releases new report on global e-commerce and the impact of counterfeit goods

The OECD will release a report today highlighting how aspects of free trade, and e-commerce in particular, enables the proliferation

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Photo: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD will release a report today highlighting how aspects of free trade, and e-commerce in particular, enables the proliferation of “fake products”.

E-commerce plays an increasingly important role in the global economy. , a 2017 UN report stated that 7% of business-to-consumer e-commerce crossed national borders, with Chinese e-commerce exports surging by 41% last year.

The OECD has raised concern about the lack of effective cross-border government regulation on sales made online, saying it has caused a rise in illicit trade. This is most notable with the trading of “fake products”, or counterfeiting. The report notes that in France, for example, in 2012 about 30% of all seizures of illicit products sold online consisted of counterfeit products.

Expect today’s report to reemphasise the importance of clearer regulatory legislation in individual countries and cooperation on the international level to eliminate illicit e-commerce trade. Particularly, take note of what the report has to say on the current institutional capacities of governments to screen goods delivered via postal streams, which it will likely and rightfully characterise as alarming, at least in countries without preexisting developed screening capabilities like the United States and Western Europe.