The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is a $461 billion1 criminal business, run by organised international gangs. Overall the UK market in fake goods is now worth £9.3 billion and represents 4% of all UK imports. This costs the UK economy estimated losses of £1.3 billion in unpaid tax, which could be used for essential public services. Instead it falls into criminal hands and is used to finance human trafficking, drugs, weapons and child labour.
Worryingly, almost 40% of fake goods detained at European Borders have proved to be potentially dangerous to consumers. These included food and beverages, body care articles, medicines, electrical goods and toys.
ACG works relentlessly with UK, EU and international Governments and law enforcement agencies to shape an effective deterrent to counterfeiting, to protect business and consumers from the increasing dangers. We provide active assistance and intelligence to Governments and agencies and constantly work to change public perception about counterfeiting, by exposing it as a sinister global crime that damages economies, destroys jobs and increasingly threatens the health and safety of consumers across the world.
ACG believes that no single agency can tackle this international problem alone and more effective, cross border, multi-sector partnerships and approaches are needed. ACG remains committed to being at the centre of the international fight against the malicious impact of counterfeiters and their deadly trade. Our mission is to empower multi-agency partnerships and to strengthen international collaboration. To do this, we work every day to enable collaborative actions against counterfeiters, helping to steer more effective Government and Enforcement strategies, policy and evidenced based actions.
Our Intelligence & Strategic Initiatives Manager holds a vital position within the group, acting as a special point of contact and reference for international business and enforcement, by gathering and collating intelligence enabling operational support and advice to UK enforcement authorities. As a result, in the past year ACG members have helped to facilitate numerous operations against counterfeit traders, which have netted fakes worth over £500,000.
One of ACG's most important functions is to provide effective liaison between UK, EU and international law enforcement and rights holders. We focus on delivering training in practical events including our Intellectual Property (IP) Roadshows, dedicated Border Force training and Brand Protection practice events. These are held across the UK and Ireland. We also provide a comprehensive Guide to Brand Protection.
ACG is at the centre of an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection and has a direct link to UK, European and international anti-counterfeiting authorities. These include Interpol, Europol, the World Customs Organisation, the OECD, the EU Observatory on IP Infringements, and the United Nations Interregional Crime Institute. We also play a key role in advising policymakers on plans, regulations and strategies to improve protection and enforcement on the ground. Our recent Manifesto sets out how we believe this should happen and our key drivers.
ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.
Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.