Anti-counterfeiting and product safety
The illegal economy includes the trade in counterfeit and unsafe products as well as illicit or duty evaded goods. Profits from the illegal economy helps to fund organised crime and causes serious detriment to legitimate honest businesses as well as consumers.
We work closely with many partner organisations including brand representatives, online sales platforms, market operators and police to combat activities in the illegal economy.
Counterfeiting causes harm in many ways, including:
- poor quality goods
- dangerous or unsafe products
- fewer jobs (affecting genuine businesses and harming the UK economy)
- negatively affecting lives (it's a criminal offence to make or sell counterfeits and carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years)
Counterfeit goods can include:
- clothing and footwear
- CDs and DVDs
- cigarettes and alcohol
- cosmetics and perfumes
- electrical items (power tools, software, games and consoles)
- fashion accessories (bags, belts, purses, sunglasses, jewellery, watches)
- health care (condoms and medicines)
If you'd like to know more about the fight against fakes, visit the Anti counterfeiting group website.
Page last updated: 02 February 2022