‘Keep it real in Highland – report fake goods’ says Trading Standards
A quick and easy way to report fake goods online is being launched today (30 September 2014) by Highland Council’s Trading Standards as part of their ongoing battle against product counterfeiting.
Consumers or businesses can now report fake goods and those who are supplying them on the Council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits
Trading Standards Manager, Gordon Robb explains: “Fake goods cheat consumers; can in some cases put their safety or health at risk; supports the criminal elements of our society and defrauds those who have invested time, money and their intellect in developing new products and brands.
“What someone has bought, believing it to be a quality product, can turn out to be a cheap shoddy copy. Worse still, especially with electrical products, personal items like perfumes and cosmetics or consumables such as alcohol and tobacco, the normal assurances associated with buying branded goods don’t exist and can put people at risk. To tackle this problem we need information from the public and our new online form is an easy way for people to report relevant information to us.”
Fake clothing, luxury goods, jewellery, footwear, hair straighteners, headphones, alcohol and tobacco have all been the subject of recent investigations by Trading Standards in Highland which have resulted in successful prosecutions and several other formal enforcement outcomes.
Gordon Robb explained: “We obtained a warrant to enter and search a local property where a quantity of counterfeit goods of various kinds was being offered for sale through a social networking account and seized the goods. A further large seizure of fake and falsely described jewellery was made from a Highland based trader who was using internet auction sites to sell the goods. Both cases are being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”
Highland Trading Standards has also been involved in what is thought to be the first seizure in the United Kingdom of counterfeit Rugby World Cup 2015 merchandise.
The significance that the protection of intellectual property has to business was highlighted by RWC Tournament Director Alan Gilpin when he said: “This is a very positive development for Rugby World Cup 2015 and for fans around the world and we would like to thank Highland Council Trading Standards for their support. Fan experience is at the heart of the tournament and our message to everyone is to ensure that they buy Rugby World Cup 2015 merchandise, tickets, hospitality and supporter tours from official sources only, to avoid missing out.”
The message to the Highland public is: ‘please pass on any information you have about counterfeit goods. The online form is designed to be simple and easy to use. It allows anyone to provide as much or as little information as they want, and to remain anonymous or not as they choose. Advice for anyone who may have bought what they now believe to be a fake will be given if requested.’
The online form for reporting information about fake goods can be found at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits