Publiceret: 16.02.2017Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail
Each year, European chemical companies suffer revenue losses of 1.3 billion euro, or nearly DKK 10 billion due to illegal production and sales of counterfeit pesticides. This was revealed in a new report from the EU’s office for intellectual property rights (EUIPO).
The report also states that the counterfeit pesticides cause a direct loss of 2,600 jobs and up to 11,600 jobs if you take knock-on effects into account.
“When one also includes the effect on downstream users, costs for authorities and lost tax revenues, the EU’s losses run up to a staggering 2,8 billion euro (DKK 20 billion), the report says. This is a figure that very much calls for a coordinated European response,” says chief consultant Lars Holm Nielsen, DI.
See also: Well-organised criminals trick companies for millions
At the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, Senior Consultant Walter Brüsch does not know offhand of any cases in Denmark where fake pesticides have had environmental consequences. Nevertheless, he believes that action must be taken against such counterfeiting.
“We must fight chemicals that can harm nature and humans at all costs, and it’s extremely worrying that criminals are producing substances that can be highly damaging. Authorities should make every effort to fight this,” says Walter Brüsch.
According to the report, it is especially chemical producers in France and Germany that suffer losses from the illegal pesticides, while Danish companies are among those least affected by the counterfeiters.
However, smaller enterprises - perhaps surprisingly - make up the majority of those affected. 400 of the EU’s 600 pesticide companies have less than 10 employees and their turnover constitutes 38 per cent of the industry’s total turnover.
“It’s very difficult for smaller companies to safeguard themselves effectively against counterfeit goods. Much is being done on several fronts to create solutions that will secure companies against piracy, but the work is often expensive and difficult, as it is often a question of highly professional pirates who know all too well that the authorities’ attention to this kind of criminality is far from sufficient,” says Lars Holm Nielsen.
He also points out that counterfeit pesticides only constitute a small part of the problem with pirate copies.
“In Denmark, we can be grateful that we aren’t hit as badly in this particular area, but the criminal counterfeiters are spreading to virtually every industry, and Danish companies will be greatly impacted. This underscores the need for a joint international initiative to combat the problem,” says Lars Holm Nielsen.