Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment 2022

On 16 March 2022, Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published their new Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment 2022. The report looks at the threat the EU faces from intellectual property (IP) crime. Key developments identified include the increased production and distribution of counterfeit goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Detections of counterfeit goods by customs authorities at the EU’s borders and on the internal market have decreased, however, from approximately 76 million items detained in 2019 to 66 million in 2020. The report also notes an increasing use of express transport services, particularly via small parcels, which is supposedly related to the growth of online marketplaces. While most counterfeit production takes place outside of the EU, more and more production sites are also being discovered in the EU Member States themselves. The range of counterfeit products varies and includes both luxury items and everyday products, such as the following:

  • Clothes, accessories, and luxury goods;
  • Electronic/electrical devices, mobile phones and components;
  • Food and drink; counterfeit perfumes, and cosmetic products;
  • Pesticides;
  • Counterfeit pharmaceutical products;
  • Digital piracy products;
  • Tobacco products;
  • Toys.

While IP crime constitutes a substantial threat to the health and safety of consumers, it also negatively impacts the EU economy, with counterfeit and pirated goods worth €119 billion having been imported into the EU in 2019, representing up to 5.8 % of EU imports in that year.

It is the second joint Europol-EUIPO IP threat assessment report. The first one was published in 2019 (→ related link).

News Guide

EU Europol Counterfeiting & Piracy


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section