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Allegrini 2018
THE ALARM

Counterfeiting wine & spirits costs EU companies €2.3 billion a year

The study Euipo - European Union Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property. For Italy and France an account of 300 million each year

From the “Ghost Wine” investigation, in Italy, which started more than a year ago and led to the arrest of 11 people and 61 suspects in total (between individuals and companies), to the most recent one that arrives right now from Spain, where the authorities, in an operation called “Isolu” and started in 2018, have discovered a 100 million euro scam, with more than 60 companies between Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, France, Moldova, and Russia involved in a wine counterfeiting ring based on glucose syrup and unauthorized musts, unfortunately, there are plenty of reports of fraud related to the world of wine. On the other hand, according to estimates, 1 bottle of wine out of 5 marketed in the world would be counterfeit, as told to WineNews by Maureen Downey, founder of “Chai Vault”, and considered the “Sherlock Holmes” of “fake” wines, who pointed out that not only great wines but also those of lower price are affected.
A phenomenon, that of the counterfeiting of wine and spirits that cost the EU wine companies alone more than 2.3 billion direct sales lost every year between 2013 and 2017 - of which 300 million for Italy, and the same figure for France - more than 5.2% of regular business, according to the most recent study on the subject signed by the Euipo, the European Union Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property. A turnover, that of counterfeit wine & spirits, which, in the period under review, caused total losses to those who, in the supply chain, work honestly and according to the rules, equal to 5.2 billion euros every year, and with a significant social cost, equal to 5,681 jobs lost every year at the production level, and 31,858 in the related industries. Furthermore, it generates a shortfall of 2.1 billion Euros per year in the coffers of the EU States for the taxes evaded. Not to mention other types of costs, such as those that companies have to bear to monitor and fight the counterfeiting of their goods. A cost that, according to a survey among more than 1,290 companies from all sectors in 14 EU countries, is around 115,000 euros per year. France, Germany, and Italy, as a whole, are among the countries most affected by fakes, while China, India, Thailand, Turkey, Malaysia, and Pakistan are identified as the countries where most fake products are produced, and Albania, Hong Kong, Morocco, Singapore, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates as the most important transit countries.

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