Counterfeit Alcohol is Becoming a Global Problem
A few months ago, the British auction house Acker auctioned a 6-liter bottle of 2002 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for 398,400 U.S. dollars, only to withdraw it later due to doubts about its authenticity. Various indications, including errors in the wooden crate as well as incorrectly dimensioned and poorly printed labels, pointed to it being a counterfeit wine.
However, counterfeit products do not only affect high-priced, exclusive products, as the latest reports show. In Russia, for example, 34 people have recently died as a result of poisoning from counterfeit alcohol. Criminals in Tanzania are also turning the spirits business into a source of quick money: Tanzania Distilleries Limited reported in March that it loses revenues of around 19.5 billion shillings (approx. EUR 7.7 million) each year due to the increasing trade in illegal and counterfeit alcohol brands. According to EUIPO, economic damage from alcohol counterfeits amounts to around EUR 3.18 billion worldwide.
These figures illustrate the extent of the worldwide presence of counterfeit alcohol and impressively show how important it is to protect one’s own products from manipulation using reliable solutions.