Counterfeit clippings: news in brief

Fake car parts, Chinese customs seizures, Interpol operation, and UK and Jamaica illicit trade recommendations.

UK warns of rise in fake vehicle parts

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has issued new guidance as part of an awareness campaign about the dangers of counterfeit automotive parts. The guidance gives tips on how to avoid buying fake parts when shopping online and on the high street, as well as explaining how to report sellers of counterfeits. “Counterfeit or sub-standard car parts can range from copies which are hard to distinguish between the fake and the real product, to cheap imitations of genuine products usually produced using inferior materials,” says the IPO. “Such parts are more likely to fail and can have serious consequences to car drivers, passengers and other road users.”

China trumpets IPR-related seizures in first half

Chinese customs seized 7.1m items suspected of intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement in the first half of this year, according to the Xinhua news agency, with most cases (6.9m) involving goods suspected of trademark infringement. Around half a million items were seized as a consequence of a collaboration with Russian customs to clamp down on FIFA 2018 World Cup merchandise. Last year, Chinese customs seized more than 19,000 shipments of goods suspected of IPR infringement involving nearly 41m items, according to data release in April by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Interpol op nets counterfeit goods worth $25m

Pharmaceuticals, food, vehicle parts, tobacco products, clothing, and agrochemicals are among 120 tonnes of fake goods worth around $25m seized in an Interpol-led operation between March and May 2018 across 36 countries. With 645 suspects identified or arrested so far, and more than 1,300 inquiries launched, further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen as ongoing investigations unfold, it says. The operation sought to dismantle factories and supply chains behind a wide range of counterfeit goods and the organized crime networks directing them. Further details of the initiative are available here.

UK parliamentarians want anti-illicit trade group

The UK should set up a new anti-illicit trade group (AITG) with members drawn from government, law enforcement, key associations and industry, according to a report from an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) chaired by Dr Matthew Offord MP. “There is currently no unified, national approach to combating illicit trade,” it says, and there is also a “lack of robust enforcement, both at the border and at a local level, together with a paucity of prosecutions.” The AITG should focus on prevention, education and prosecutions, says the APPG, and be led by a senior political figure. One country in the UK has already gone down this route - Scotland set up its AITG last year headed by Kenny MacAskill, a Scottish National Party and former Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

Jamaica to invest in marine surveillance tech

The government of Jamaica has approved the purchase of marine surveillance equipment to tackle illicit trade across its borders, including the movement of contraband and counterfeit goods, reports the Jamaica Observer. Two new patrol boats were also recently acquired to help maintain birder security, according to Minister of National Security Horace Chang, who was addressing the opening of a one-day Anti-illicit Trade Conference, hosted by domestic tobacco distributor Carreras Ltd in New Kingston. The illicit trade of cigarettes in Jamaica is estimated to be worth J$5bn (around $38m) a year.

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