Business Consulting

Illicit Trade 2015-2016: Implications for the Irish economy

Brendan P. Foster Brendan P. Foster

Illicit trade is continuing to develop in Ireland and is becoming a real threat to the Irish economy.

Illicit trade is continuing to show no signs of abating. In 2015, we estimate that illicit trade could be costing the Irish economy as much as €2.35bn.

The estimates that we have provided for the sectors covered in this report show that illicit trade could be costing right holders as much as €1.6bn per annum and the Irish Exchequer circa €828m per annum.

The non-financial impacts are as important as the financial impacts and must be considered also. Non-financial impacts include health and safety concerns, undermining the legal and regulatory system, growth in organised crime and reputational damage to brands.

In terms of the incentive for the supply and demand of illicit products, price remains the main driver of illicit trade.

Whilst there have been some efforts to improve legislation and enforcement across the sectors reviewed, the fundamental problem of unaligned, unbalanced and sector specific strategies continues to exist.

This report looks in detail at the growing treat of illicit trade in the following areas:

  • alcohol;
  • solid fuel;
  • petroleum;
  • tobacco;
  • pharmaceuticals counterfeiting;
  • digital piracy; and
  • other product counterfeiting.
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