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.