The publication of the OECD/EUIPO updated report Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods provides more data and corroboration on the role of SE Asia in the global fakes trade.

Of course China dominates as the global source, including transited goods through Hong Kong. But the report identifies other SE Asian countries too. Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are all small but important producers in many goods sectors. Singapore features as a source as a result of transhipment of fakes through its port. The global fakes trade is valued at half a billion Euros and growing. Footwear and clothing are the largest volumes of fake goods seized, but the usual range of products from consumer and household to pharma remain common, as well as IP-infringing packaging and labels.

Places with weak governance attract counterfeiting. This includes bot countries with large grey economies, and specifically Free Trade Zones. The boom in internet orders and small parcel deliveries by post or courier services is now dominating seizures. For customs and IP owners this means more work for less volumes. Weak port systems (lack of shipment information transparency, no advance clearance systems etc) encourages the fakes trade.

The authors also note a change to the rights owners affected with an increasing spread to companies from all countries. In SE Asia they identify a number of Singapore IP owners as facing fake goods problems.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.