Greece may not really be a production country for counterfeit cosmetics, but it is a transit hub through which they travel to other countries. The cost to local cosmetics companies is by no means negligible, as the estimated loss of revenues to the counterfeiters comes to 234 million euros per year, or about 20 percent of the market’s sales.
In the European Union, that figure comes to 10.6 percent of total sales in the cosmetics sector, or almost 7 billion euros, according to a recent study by the EU Intellectual Property Office.
If one adds the lost revenues from another 10 sectors that are considered most vulnerable to illegal trading – i.e. apparel, sports goods, toys, bags and suitcases, jewelry and watches, music products, alcoholic beverages, medications, pesticides and smartphones – Greece suffers losses of 1.3 billion euros annually, while in the EU the figure comes to some 56 billion.
Piotr Stryszowski, a chief economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), tells Kathimerini that exports of counterfeit fragrances and cosmetics add up to $5.4 billion globally, with Greece being one of the most important transit points in Europe.