Don’t fall foul of fakes this Christmas

Published 29 November 2013

Border Force is reminding Christmas shoppers to be wary of counterfeit goods which flood the market in the run-up to festive season.

Counterfeit products can seriously affect people’s health and safety and the UK’s economic growth. With this in mind, Border Force and its partners - Intellectual Property Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the Anti-Counterfeit Group are committed to tackling dangerous fake products from reaching the streets.

Imitations of the latest Apple iPads and phones, Chanel perfume, Adidas sports clothing and Beats Audio Dr Dre headphones are just some of counterfeit products that have been detected by Border Force in recent months.

The vast majority of these products have been bought online and shipped to the UK from abroad. And whilst consumer’s think they are getting a bargain, in reality they’re not. Fake products are cheap, dangerous and illegal.

The top counterfeits products detected at the border are:

  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Bags
  • Perfume and cosmetics
  • Tablets and e-readers
  • Hair stylers
  • Pharmaceutical goods
  • Headphones
  • Toys
  • Batteries

Goods that are found to be counterfeit products will be destroyed, leaving the consumer out of pocket, often to the tune of hundreds of pounds. In more serious cases importers could be prosecuted.

Although some websites and unscrupulous traders may sell fakes at low prices, what they don’t say is that the people behind are often involved other serious organised crime. And it doesn’t stop there as the cost to UK’s growth is even greater, not just in terms of lost income to genuine traders, but also to the economy, as no tax or VAT is paid. 

Border Force along with its partners will continue to focus on keeping these goods off the streets and bring those responsible for producing and distributing them to justice.

It is easy to be tricked into thinking people are getting a bargain, but in the run-up to Christmas the message is that if something appears too good to be true it probably is.

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