Story image

Smartphone fakes fail at the border

08 Jan 15

Smartphones and other electronic goods were among the most common fakes intercepted by New Zealand Customs in 2014, with Customs warning counterfeit electronics could be dangerous.

Customs made over 400 interceptions of counterfeit goods last year, totalling over 43,000 branded items. The most common fakes were branded sports clothes and caps, clothing, smartphones and accessories, footwear and toys from children’s films.
 
Jonathan Morten, Customs manager, says one shipment alone intercepted at the end of last year had over 14,000 goods ranging from counterfeit children’s watches, hats and walkie-talkies to dolls and toys – all of which was forfeited by the importer.
 
“Customs’ role is to intercept any suspected counterfeit goods and report it to the rights holder for action,” Moprten says. “We do this for about 300 intellectual property rights holders so far, and we would encourage others to lodge protection notices with Customs.”
 
Electronic goods such as smartphones, phone accessories and branded headphones and speakers were the second most common items with over 70 interceptions of more than 7,200 electronic products last year.

Clothes and clothing accessories were the most common items, with over 230 interceptions of almost 14,000 sports-branded hats, vests, t-shirts, and themed clothes including onesies. Footwear was also popular with over 2,200 pairs intercepted.

Other items included furniture and household items, cosmetics and perfumes.

Morten says the fakes are often sold at markets, discount shops and online. “Counterfeiters rapidly churn out fakes to keep up with market trends and it’s getting harder to tell them from the real deal. It’s recommended that online buyers use trusted and licensed websites to avoid being ripped off.”
 
He says “it’s important for buyers to be aware that the fakes will always be of much poorer quality and in many instances, especially for electronic equipment, may not meet safety standards and be dangerous to use.” 
 
It is an offence under the Trade Marks Act to counterfeit a registered trade mark or import or sell goods with a falsely applied registered trade mark. Maximum penalties are five years’ imprisonment or a $150,000 fine.
 

How to stay safe when shopping online
Online shopping is a great way to avoid the crowds – but there are risks.
Hands-on review: The Logitech R500 laser presentation remote
With a clever ergonomic design, you’ll never have to glance at the device, unless you deliberately look to use the built-in laser pointer to emphasise your presentation.
Noel Leeming slapped with $200,000 fine for misrepresentation
“This prosecution related to multiple consumers in multiple locations. It was not isolated or ‘one off’ conduct.”
GCSB welcomes Inspector-General's report on intelligence warrants
Intelligence warrants can include surveillance, private communications interception, searches of physical places and things, and the seizure of communications, information and things.
Review: Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 3?
If you are new the to the world of wearables you might be wondering if Fitbit’s new offering is a good first step. Maybe I can help with that.
Hands-on review: Anki Vector is a step up in the world of AI
See how he responds if you annoy him. You can tell him if he’s been a good or bad robot and see how he reacts.
Homegrown stress relief app to be launched next year
Researchers at the University of Auckland and an Auckland-based creative agency are working together to create a ‘world first’ app that they believe will help with stress relief.
Review: Blue Mic’s Satellite headphones are good but...
Blue Mic’s newest wireless headphones deliver on sound, aesthetic, and comfort - but there is a more insidious issue at hand.