Officials in EU and USA target fakes and gray market imports

© Calado / Fotolia.
Customs officials in Germany and the USA stop illegal imports, while investigators in Lithuania crack down on the sale of fashion fakes. In America, meanwhile, an online retailer is sentenced in court for selling counterfeit airbags.

German customs stops parallel import of Tupperware
In Krefeld near Düsseldorf, investigators of the main customs office Neuss prevented the illegal import of more than one hundred Tupperware food containers. As confirmed by the rights holder, the intercepted containers were so-called gray market or parallel imports, i.e. original goods not intended for the European market. The products were apparently on their way by post from India to Germany.

Hundreds of fake Lego sets intercepted in Frankfurt
As was recently reported, customs investigators at Frankfurt Airport confiscated around 380 shipments containing counterfeit Lego construction sets within the last four months. The seizures prevented financial damages of about 50,000 euros in total, according to customs. The fakes were sent from several South-East Asian countries – including China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong – to consumers in Germany and the EU. Apparently, the counterfeits were produced by a single Chinese manufacturer. In April, Chinese authorities in Shenzhen, South China, had already busted a 27-million-euro Lego counterfeiting ring.

US customs take counterfeit point of sale machines off the streets
At the International Falls port of entry on the US-Canadian border, US customs officials intercepted more than 1,500 counterfeit point-of-sale (POS) machines at the end of April. The fakes – worth around 2.2 million euros (2.4 million US dollars) – were being transported to Minnesota in three railway containers, according to media reports. Apparently, the POS systems illegally carried the brand of software producer Micros, a subsidiary of the US tech company Oracle. In April, the USA had classified Canada as a high-risk country for IP protection for the second time in a row.

Lithuania: Tons of fashion fakes seized
According to local media reports, authorities in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius recently confiscated about 1.5 tons of fake fashion items. The investigators seized the items, including counterfeit clothing, shoes, and accessories, during an inspection at Gariūnai Market trading centre. A number of internationally renowned brands were affected, including Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, and Nike, the report says. Apparently, at least one retailer is now under investigation and may face up to four years in prison.

© Delfi

US car part dealer convicted for selling counterfeit airbags
For selling hundreds of counterfeit airbags, a US court has now sentenced an automotive dealer from New York State to ten years in prison and around 1.8 million euros (approximately two million US dollars) in fines. Among the manufacturers affected were Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. The potentially hazardous fakes had apparently been imported from China: According to media reports, the counterfeits were often shipped unassembled in order to conceal the illicit trafficking. Once in the USA, the dealer would re-assemble the airbags himself and sell them on the Internet, e.g. via the e-commerce platform eBay.

Sources: Hauptzollamt Krefeld; Hauptzollamt Frankfurt am Main; Securing Industry; Delfi; The Buffalo News, IPPro

– Advertisement –