Fake toys top list of coun­ter­feit seizures


THE num­ber of sus­pected fake prod­ucts be­ing stopped at our bor­ders has fallen af­ter hav­ing more than dou­bled in 2016, but the most com­monly in­ter­cepted fakes were toys.

Cus­toms in­ter­cepted more than 20,500 prod­ucts last year, sig­nif­i­cantly lower than in 2016 when this num­ber was 68,055, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act. In 2015, there were about 29,700 goods stopped by Cus­toms.

The most pop­u­lar toy brand to be faked was Dora the Ex­plorer. Cus­toms stopped nearly 800 Dora the Ex­plorer items last year.

Last year more than 11,000 sus­pected fake toys were stopped, mostly in Auck­land.

The rate for stopped toys was al­most triple that of elec­tron­ics (3800) and cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories (3200).

Most of the coun­ter­feit items came from China, the United Kingdom, Viet­nam and Hong Kong. But China ac­counted for more than half of last year’s to­tal seized prod­ucts.

The Anti-Coun­ter­feit­ing Group, a non-profit trade as­so­ci­a­tion, es­ti­mated that 12 per cent of toys for sale in the UK were fakes.

A Cus­toms spokesper­son said it held ad­min­is­tered no­tices on be­half of over 300 rights hold­ers.

‘‘If we con­sider that to be the case, we will de­tain the goods and give the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty owner 10 work­ing days to ini­ti­ate court pro­ceed­ings against the im­porter,’’ the spokesper­son said.

If the trade­mark or copyright owner chooses not to take any court ac­tion, then Cus­toms has to re­lease the de­tained goods back to the im­porter.

The penal­ties de­pend on the le­gal ac­tion taken by the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty owner and the out­come of the le­gal ac­tion but Cus­toms does not deal out penal­ties it­self.

The most com­mon fake fash­ion brands in­cluded adi­das, Nike and Aus­tralian and Kiwi de­signer-brands Sass & Bide, Karen Waker and Alice Mc­Call.

Trade Me head of trust and safety Jon Duffy said it did not mat­ter if sell­ers listed coun­ter­feit items as copies, repli­cas, fake or pi­rated – the list­ings would be re­moved.

‘‘You’d be pretty foolish to try to start a busi­ness sell­ing coun­ter­feit goods on Trade Me. You leave deep elec­tronic foot­prints and we’d shut some­thing like this down very quickly,’’ he said. ‘‘The ma­jor­ity of coun­ter­feit items listed on-site are done out of ig­no­rance.

‘‘We con­tact the seller to warn them, and that’s the end of the mat­ter.’’

Dora the Ex­plorer prod­ucts topped the list of fake toys stopped by Cus­toms.

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