Nobody knows exactly, but probably the first counterfeit dates back since the introduction of the coin in human society. Romans made a series of counterfeits, later on called "legal", by making coins of copper silvered. Roman soldiers fighting in enemy territories were paid with these coins. If they were to be taken prisoners, they did not want to lose gold or silver this way! (...) details... In countries where democracy and market economy are currently strengthening, countries that were led by dictatorial regimes or centralized economies, freedom has lead to a real explosion on the market of services and large consume goods. Taking into account that the legislation for the protection of intellectual property rights and trademarks in these countries appears and is strengthening with time, the state's control bodies do not always manage to fight efficiently against counterfeiting. Cosmetic products, medicines, textiles, food, cellular phones, music or software CDs, spare parts for motor vehicles, these represent a multitude of counterfeited products, thrown on the market, under renowned trademarks, for attractive prices. Who is losing from the sale of these counterfeited products? (...) details...

Interview with Mrs. Monica Tatoiu

Managing Director of Cosmetics Oriflame Romania
How do you find the establishment in Romania of a civil society anticounterfeiting organization?

Romania has a European legislation on unfair competition, sales policies, product quality, distribution and marketing. Also, the necessary bodies and structures for the implementation of this legislation were created. The establishment of an anticounterfeiting association represents a significant step in the acceleration of real alignment processes, in practice, of the Romanian market to the rules of the game on western market. The transition from the text of the law to its spirit requires an active contribution on the part of nongovernmental bodies in an economic environment where mentality changes occur slowly than the theoretical alignment to the functional economy.

Is the counterfeiting phenomenon that serious in Romania?

The Romanian “black market” was optimistically estimated to 40% give the situation of an excessive taxation naturally generated by the failure to pay the State contributions by companies without access to capital and without productivity. In order to survive on a market with low buying power, the small businessman sells counterfeits because this is what the customer wants. The quality associated to a brand is not correlated with in end customer’s perception because this price is prohibitive. Counterfeits sell well. There is demand for them. Consequently, there is a market for counterfeits. It is as large as the demand.

What is the impact of this phenomenon on the market of cosmetics?

The market of cosmetics is subordinated to the genera trend. The negative impact is higher or lower, according to the segment of products. The largest negative impact is registered on the perfume market and the least significant on the market of skin care products. In the field of complementary cosmetic products, respectively accessories, the unfair competition is larger due to the Chinese imports carried out by natural persons.

Which are the measures taken so far by cosmetics industry manufacturers to fight counterfeiting?

It is not my position to judge all the cosmetics vendors. But I can tell you that, as for Oriflame, the counterfeiting control is highly efficient due to the exclusivity of the company I am leading on the import of this brand. Any product distributed in Romania by economic agents that are not under contract with Oriflame is counterfeited. The excellent cooperation with consumer protection authorities and the prompt reactions of the officers of this control department led to the rapid elimination of all fraudulent intentions.


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