EU tags Baclaran, Divisoria, Greenhills, Cartimar as counterfeit hubs

Manila’s popular sprawling mass markets – Baclaran, Divisoria, Greenhils and Cartimar – have been tagged as hubs of counterfeit goods in the country by the European Commission Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List.

In the latest biennial report in December last year, the EU Watch List identified the four markets as offering a wide range of counterfeit goods on retail and wholesale basis, in particular shoes, with some stalls allegedly also running online shops offering counterfeit goods.

“According to stakeholders, no police actions are taken,” the report stated.

Notably, the report said that shops in Greenhills and Cartimar shopping malls and, in particular, the stalls located in their vicinity are reported to sell higher quality counterfeit goods.

It added that the National Bureau of Investigation referred in April 2022 to a seizure of more than EUR 1 million (P59.5 million) worth of possible counterfeit goods in the Greenhills shopping center, coupled with the public pledge to take additional steps to curb down the sale of counterfeits.

This is the first time that Philippine markets have been cited in the biennial list since its launch in 2018.

In the report, the EU said that the Watch List is a selection of marketplaces and service providers reported by stakeholders. The name of each marketplace and service provider mentioned is accompanied by a short summary of the allegations of the reporting stakeholders and, where provided, a summary of the response of the mentioned marketplace or service provider to those allegations.

The European Commission does not take any position on the content of such allegations and the responses to these allegations. The Watch List is not an exhaustive list of the reported marketplaces and providers and does not contain findings of legal violations. The Watch List is limited to reporting on the allegations made by stakeholders and the replies provided by the marketplaces and service providers concerned.

It added that the selection of the marketplaces and service providers in the Watch List aims to provide significant examples of different types of online service providers and physical markets that play, directly or indirectly, a major role in the counterfeiting or piracy of EU IPR protected goods and content outside the EU. The marketplaces and service providers in the Watch List were selected between April and September 2022. Consequently, the information included in the report reflects the situation during this period.

In terms of economic harm, the report cited a joint study by EU Intellectual Property Office and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development of June 2021 which stated that $464 billion worth of counterfeit and pirated goods were traded worldwide.

In the EU, 5.8 percent of all imports from third countries are now estimated to be counterfeit and pirated goods, worth up to EUR 119 billion (USD 134 billion), a volume that is stable. Top provenance economies in terms of their propensity to export counterfeit products are: Hong Kong (China), China, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.