A rising flood of counterfeit goods being brought into the European Union is costing the bloc’s manufacturers billions of euros annually. According to a new report, losses are estimated at a whopping €60bn annually.

According to the report published on June 6 by the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the situation is likely to get worse in the next few years – with revenue losses to reach €85bn per year.

“Lenient court sentences and high returns on capital are incentives for criminal gangs to engage in counterfeiting activities,” the EU agency said in a statement.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the EUIPO survey analysed 13 industries and their supply chains, finding that the most commonly counterfeited products included watches, shoes, perfume, cosmetics plus leather and tobacco products.

Low prices and “a low degree of social stigma” around purchasing counterfeit goods were among the reasons for consumers to buy them, the EUIPO report stressed.

The study noted that Albania, Morocco and Ukraine were the main transit nations for fake goods entering the European Union.

According to DW, a 2016 report by EUIPO identified Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey as the major sources of counterfeit goods in the EU.