A total of 15.2% of sales are lost in Ireland each year due to counterfeit pesticides, a loss of €15m, a recent EU report shows.

The report from the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) estimates that the legitimate industry loses approximately €1.3 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit pesticides in the EU marketplace.

This corresponds to a loss of 13.8% of the sector’s sales, while these lost sales also translate into direct employment losses of approximately 2,600 jobs across the EU, it found.

This figure does not take account of the effect of imports, since in those cases the associated employment impacts occur outside of the EU, nor does it include losses suffered by EU producers as a result of counterfeiting in non-EU markets.

The direct effect of counterfeit pesticides on sales is below 10% in only four Member States including Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden.

Estimated employment losses in the EU therefore relate to goods produced and consumed within the EU.

Meanwhile, the report outlines that the figures become more alarming if the knock-on effects on other industries and on government revenue are added up.

In total, counterfeiting in this sector causes approximately €2.8 billion in lost sales to the EU economy, which in turns leads to employment losses of about 11,700 jobs as well as a loss of €238m in government revenues.

It indicates that the impact of counterfeit pesticides refers only to the manufacturing industry and so does not include wholesale and retail trade due to absence of data.

German and French losses in employment in the legitimate pesticides industry are estimated at 500 jobs in each country, Italian industry loses about 270 jobs and in the UK, Spain and Poland the losses amount to about 200 jobs in each country.

The largest producers of pesticides in the EU is Germany, €4 billion, followed by France ,€3.5 billion.

Both of these two countries are also the major exporters with a trade balance of €1.7 billion in the case of Germany and €1.5 billion in France, figures show.

The EU pesticides industry consists of over 600 enterprises, with an average of 36 workers per firm, with nearly 400 of these companies being categorised as small and medium-sized enterprises, EU data shows.