Drinks companies within the European Union have been asked to share their findings on counterfeit goods trading

Drinks companies within the European Union have been asked to share their findings on counterfeit goods trading

The European Commission has asked drinks companies for their comments on a planned 'Counterfeit and Piracy watch-list', designed to identify non-European Union online and physical trading areas that commonly allow the sale of counterfeit, pirated and smuggled goods.

The Commission is looking to publish the list, which would be updated regularly, this year to alert wholesalers, retailers and consumers to the guilty e-commerce platforms and trading marketplaces. It would also warn where these areas sell products that pose serious environmental and health safety risks.

Once in place, the EU executive will monitor how well local regulators control these marketplaces, and whether they actively reduce the availability of goods and services that infringe intellectual property rights. Government authorities will also be urged to investigate suspect products and prosecute where necessary.

These infringements are "a particular scourge on industry", said a Commission note, hampering investment and employment in sectors, like drinks, that rely "on creativity and innovation".

The EU Intellectual Property Office and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development have reported that the trade in fake goods is worth an annual EUR338bn (US$416bn) worldwide. Around 5% of EU imports (worth EUR85bn) are counterfeited or pirated, the organisations estimate.

All drinks companies and industry associations are encouraged to contribute to the consultation by 16 April.

For full details, including how to submit comments, click here.