These activities undermine intellectual property rights of EU companies and creators, harm EU businesses and jobs, and threaten consumers' health and safety.
According to a joint study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD of June 2021, ‘Global Trade in Fakes: A WORRYING THREAT’ , the volume of international trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounts to USD 464 billion, or 2.5% of world trade. In the EU, 5.8% of all imports from third countries are now estimated to be counterfeit and pirated goods, worth up to EUR 119 billion (USD 134 billion).
The Watch List aims to encourage these services and marketplaces, as well as local enforcement authorities and governments, to take action to stop or prevent intellectual property infringements. It also aims to raise awareness among EU citizens of the environmental, product safety and other risks of purchasing from these potentially problematic markets.
The Watch List focuses on websites providing copyright-protected content, e-commerce platforms, online pharmacies and physical marketplaces. It makes a distinction between websites that are allegedly infringing, and those which do not engage in infringing activities themselves but are reportedly failing to take appropriate measures to fight against piracy and counterfeiting.
The Watch List is based on input received during a public consultation from 15 December 2021 to 14 February 2022, where the Commission invited all stakeholders to share their views. Europol and the EUIPO also contributed to preparing the Watch List.
The Commission prepared the Watch List in accordance with the Commission’s Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Third Countries , the ‘Trade for all’ Communication , theCommunication ‘A balanced IP enforcement system responding to today's societal challenges’  and the IP Action Plan .
The Commission updates the Watch List regularly. It will use the Watch List to continue to cooperate with the EU's trading partners in the framework of intellectual property rights dialogues and working groups, as well as in the framework of ongoing technical cooperation programmes in China, Southeast Asia and Latin America. The Commission will also monitor the measures and actions taken by local authorities in relation to the listed marketplaces and service providers, as well as the measures and actions taken by the operators, service providers and marketplace owners to curb intellectual property infringements.
The Watch List is not an exhaustive list of the reported marketplaces and service providers and does not contain findings of legal violations. Nor does it provide the Commission services' analysis of the state of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the countries connected with the listed marketplaces and service providers.
A general analysis of the protection and enforcement of IPR in third countries can be found in the Commission services' separate biennial Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in countries outside the EU, the latest of which was published on 27 April 2021.
 COM(2014) 389 final, Register of Commission Documents - COM(2014)389 (europa.eu)
- Publication date
- 1 December 2022
- Directorate-General for Trade
- Trade topics
- Intellectual property