Internet platforms have long played an important role in global trade, commerce and consumerism. The phenomenal growth of internet purchases in recent years demonstrates how far it has become a trusted and convenient shopping experience of choice for many of us. However, with the great opportunities that online shopping presents there lurks great risks.
If you buy something online, it isn’t always easy to tell if it’s genuine or not. Fake goods are illegal and it is shocking to know that you could be inadvertently funding crime with your online transaction.
As regular readers of this blog know, PMI is taking a leading role in the fight against all forms of illegal trade and we are always open to building partnerships and joining forces to ensure our business and the consumer are protected.
In a significant step forward for PMI and the fight against crime, we were invited by the European Commission to officially sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sale of counterfeit goods via the internet, joining forces to fight against the problem. The signing took place in Brussels on Monday 23rd April during a meeting held by the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
In signing, we are joining 19 other stakeholders that are already working together under the agreement. The MoU has established a code of practice against the sale of counterfeit goods online, enhancing collaboration between the signatories, and creating an example for other brand owners and stakeholders yet to get involved.
Last year, the Commission released a progress report on the MoU, which was first signed in 2011. The report demonstrated that the MoU brought positive results and improved cooperation between right owners and internet platforms.
That is why it is a pleasure to be part of this collaboration. It is already making a difference, and the more organisations that sign, the stronger it will become.
We will never rest in our bid to combat illegal trade. The internet operates 24/7 and largely without borders, and criminals are exploiting this. Online illegal trade brings additional challenges and complexities in combating crime, and only through collaboration and cooperation will we collectively succeed and keep ahead of ruinous opportunists.
The European Commission should be congratulated in taking the initiative in strengthening the fight through this MoU and we very much welcome being trusted and accepted into its confidence to support its mission. Our shared mission. To combat crime.
Written by Matteo Mattei