The cost-of-living crisis has led to a surge in the volume of counterfeit goods being seized, according to new research published by Trading Standards.

Data from the new Impacts and Outcomes Report 2021/22 from ACTSO (the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers) said that there had been a major increase in counterfeit goods with Trading Standards seizing over 4 million counterfeit products with a market value of £111m – three times more than the previous year. And there was a significant increase in the amount of illicit tobacco, with 14.9m illicit cigarettes seized

Chief Executive at CTSI, John Herriman said: “The current economic situation is inevitably causing consumers and businesses to tighten their belts, but in consequence unscrupulous and rogue traders are exploiting this increased vulnerability. The data clearly shows not only the significant impact Trading Standards is making to address consumer detriment but also that the risks to consumers from scams, counterfeit and illicit goods, and false and misleading prices are on the rise.”

“It is imperative to the national economy that that we build and maintain consumer confidence, and this is very much dependent upon us having confidence in the integrity of businesses. By tackling unscrupulous practices whether that is preventing food fraud or removing counterfeit goods, Trading Standards is an absolutely vital component in underpinning confidence in businesses and from consumers, and ultimately helping the UK steer the choppy waters ahead.”