Trading Standards Supports World Anti-Counterfeiting Day

June 8th is World Anti-Counterfeiting Day 2016 and Trading Standards are warning Highland consumers to beware of buying bogus imitation products. The theme for this year’s event is “Fakes in the sports industries”, to coincide with the EURO 2016 football.

Trading Standards Team Leader David MacKenzie explained:

“We regularly receive consumer complaints from residents in the Highlands who unwittingly buy counterfeit and misdescribed goods. Consumers are entitled to expect that the goods they buy are of the quality associated with the named brand. They should not receive shoddy copies”.

And it is not just the individual buyers who are losing out through the sale of fakes.  A recent study found that £390 million is lost to the legitimate trade across Europe every year as a result of fake sports equipment alone (i.e. excluding sports clothing), such as footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, gym equipment, skateboards, golf clubs etc. This is estimated to cause the loss 2,800 jobs per annum, resulting in losses of £115 million in Government tax revenues.  In the UK alone, the manufacture of counterfeit sports equipment costs the sector £39 million a year.

Highland Council Trading Standards have been very active lately in combatting the supply of fake goods in the Highlands.  A number of significant investigations have been carried out into the supply of a wide range of products including clothing, luxury goods, jewellery, footwear, electrical goods, jewellery, alcohol and tobacco.  These items are sold in a wide variety of ways, through websites, social media networks and in workplaces.  The investigations have resulted in successful prosecutions and several other formal outcomes.

On the Highland Council website there is an online form which members of the public can use to pass on information about fake goods. David MacKenzie commented, “The online form is simple and easy to use.  You can provide as much or as little information as you like, remain anonymous or give us your details.  Any relevant information is of interest to us, however basic it may seem.”

“We want to send a strong message to anyone considering engaging in this illegal trade that we will take whatever action in necessary to prevent consumers and businesses losing out.  Sellers of fake goods cheat consumers, undermine legitimate businesses and threaten jobs.”

The online form for reporting information about fake goods can be found at: www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits

Consumers can check whether a website or other supplier of branded goods is genuine by using the simple tool on the Brand-i website at www.brand-i.org/  General advice on avoiding fake goods is available from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group at www.a-cg.org/

Further information on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day is at: www.gacg.org/

7 Jun 2016
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