Nike Shoes Among Most Counterfeited Goods in the World

It's not just luxury goods that are being counterfeited.

ByABC News
April 18, 2016, 6:12 PM

— -- The market for fake goods is on the rise, with international trade in counterfeited or pirated products valued almost a half a trillion dollars.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report today that said international trade of "fakes" represented 2.5 percent of overall world trade, or $461 billion, in 2013. That's equivalent to the gross domestic product of Ireland and the Czech Republic combined.

The report, "Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact," describes the effect of counterfeiting on a range of industries.

"The scope of the phenomenon appears to be greater than a decade ago," according to the OECD, a group of mostly wealthy 34 nations that promote economic growth. The group includes the U.S., Germany and other countries that the OECD website describes as "advanced nations," as well as some "emerging" countries like Mexico, Chile and Turkey. A previous OECD study in 2008 estimated that counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for up to 1.9 percent of world imports, or up to $200 billion.

Most of the fake goods appear to originate from China. Almost 20 percent of the total value of seized fake products violate the intellectual property rights of holders registered in the U.S., followed by Italy at 14.6 percent, France at 12.1 percent, Switzerland at 11.7 percent, Japan at 8.2 percent and Germany at 7.5 percent.

Rolex, Nike, Ray Ban and Louis Vuitton are brands that "seem to be more intensely targeted by counterfeiters," according to the report. The results corroborate a previous World Customs Organization report that identified Nike as the most frequently counterfeited brand in 2013.

Louis Vuitton declined to comment on the report but the company states on its website that it "has a zero tolerance policy against counterfeiting and is fully committed to upholding the integrity of its exceptional brand in order to protect its customers' loyalty."

Rolex, Nike and Ray Ban did not return ABC News' request for comment.

Fake Nike shoes are worth between $5 to $200 on the counterfeit market, while Ray Ban sunglasses range from $5 to $150, OECD found. Fake Louis Vuitton bags ranged from $5 to $1,500, while counterfeit Rolex watches were sold for $5 to $20,000, the report said.

Some counterfeit products also pose health and safety threats, such as fake pharmaceuticals and toys that are of low quality.

Industries with the most counterfeit seizures in 2013, according to the OECD:

1. Footwear

2. Clothing, knitted or crocheted

3. Articles of leather

4. Electrical machinery and equipment

5. Watches

6. Instruments, optical, medical, etc.

7. Clothing, non-knitted or crocheted

8. Perfumes and cosmetics

9. Toys

10. Pharmaceuticals

11. Jewelry

"You’re unlikely to get burned by counterfeits if you stick with established stores, legitimate retailer websites, and authorized sellers," Consumer Reports' senior projects editor Tod Marks told ABC News. "Otherwise, you could be playing with fire. Fakes are sold everywhere: At flea markets, on eBay, via marketplace merchants, at independent deep-discount and no-name stores -- like some of those “electronics and luggage storefronts in New York City, purse parties, salons, swap meets, 'copycat' websites that mimic those of well-known merchants, and rogue Internet pharmacies."