Underwriters Laboratories Launches World Anti-Counterfeiting Initiative

The sale of counterfeit goods is on the rise, and it is not just an issue domestically, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental group consisting of 36-member states, documented a 154 percent increase in counterfeits traded internationally, from $200 billion in 2005 to $509 billion in 2016.1 Counterfeit goods do not meet the safety standards of authentic goods. They pose health risks, lead to job losses, negatively impact the economy and fund crime.

Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Be Safe Buy Real™ is an annual global campaign designed to raise awareness about the health and safety risks associated with counterfeit products. UL is collaborating with over 20 global partners in their mission to help consumers make informed buying decisions that will keep them and their families safe. Last year’s inaugural campaign engaged with more than 8.5 million people globally. This year, the campaign will again share digital assets such as social posts, interviews, articles, infographics, and videos, providing valuable insights that can influence purchasing decisions during the week of the campaign (November 16-20, 2020).

A new element to this year’s campaign includes the introduction of the UL Anti-Counterfeiting Virtual Research Symposium on November 18, 2020. This symposium features prominent researchers, scholars and leaders of anti-counterfeiting initiatives discussing the health and safety effects of counterfeiting.  The symposium is free to join and open to the public. For more information about the UL Anti-Counterfeiting Virtual Symposium, please click here and share BeSafeBuyReal.ul.org on your social networks.



[1] Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, (April 3, 2019), https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-combating-trafficking-counterfeit-pirated-goods/.

[2] Source:  AP News, Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018-2020 - ResearchAndMarkets.com, May 15, 2018


[3] Global counterfeiting results in the loss of 2.5 million jobs and over $125 billion annually among the G20 economies. Source: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/documents/files/measuringthemagnitudeofglobalcounterfeiting.pdf

Fast Facts

  • Join the campaign by becoming an advocate and receiving an email each day of the campaign week (November 16-20, 2020) with links to social media posts about anti-counterfeiting.
  • Since the inaugural campaign in 2019, the number of global partners in the fight against counterfeiting has increased more than 65 percent.
  • The first Be Safe Buy RealTM campaign reached over 8.5 million people.
  • 206 campaign advocates from 34 countries supported the first Be Safe Buy RealTM campaign.
  • In 2017, global losses through counterfeit purchases online reached $323 billion USD2. Get tips on how to shop safely and see other resources here.
  • In G20 economies, 2.5 million jobs have been lost globally due to counterfeiting3. Learn more about the Be Safe Buy Real™ campaign and the global impact from counterfeiting on our website

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