ABF not playing around with counterfeit toys

Border Operations 22/09/2023
Don’t take a Chansey on fake products


The Australian Border Force (ABF) has seized more than 1400 toys, suspected to be counterfeit, at Perth International Airport.

ABF officers stopped a passenger returning home from Thailand after they declared they were carrying commercial goods, allegedly intended to be sold at the Perth Royal Show.

Upon conducting a baggage examination, it was discovered a large number of the items, including stuffed toys, pencil cases, key rings and hair clips, appeared to breach intellectual property rights laws.

Superintendent Vesna Gavranich said there is a perception counterfeit goods means only knock-off luxury handbags or shoes and the only potential loss is revenue, but the possible harms are much wider.

“Counterfeit goods impact every industry, and so this is a great detection by our officers and a timely reminder to the community," Superintendent Gavranich said.

“There are serious health, safety and environmental concerns over fake versions of products including children's toys, cosmetics, batteries, even safety equipment like airbags.

 “These items were intended for the Royal Show and likely not safe for children to the degree expected by the community.

“When making purchase choices remember that 'if it looks too good to be true, it usually is'. The risk to your health is not worth the few dollars you might save."

The ABF is holding 1465 items while investigating the legitimacy of the products, in consultation with the intellectual property rights holders.

“The Royal Agricultural Society works with the licence holders of various products, to inspect and make sure no one is in breach of counterfeit licence conditions. It's a condition of being an exhibiter that you have appropriate licences, and we inspect goods on-site," Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia CEO Robyn Sermon said.

In the 2023 financial year, the ABF seized more than 112,000 individual items with an estimated value of almost $40 million.

Counterfeit goods may be identified and intercepted as a result of profiling, and specific information being received. This information can come from members of the public, industry partners or overseas intelligence information.

People in the community can report suspicious border-related activity at any time through Border Watch. Reports can be made anonymously at www.borderwatch.gov.au

Media contact: Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2211