Counterfeit and illegally imported goods
Counterfeit and fake products can be found in many forms, such as clothing, DVDs, perfume, hair straighteners, jewellery, computer software and games. However, vodka, car and airplane parts, tyres, tools, electrical goods, batteries, shampoo, razor blades, cigarettes and children's toys are also copied.
Cigarettes, alcohol and tobacco, that are not for the UK market are also illegally imported. Signs include the lack of the 'UK Duty Paid' mark, no health warnings and pictures on tobacco or the fact that they are stored away from the normal sales kiosk.
These products may seem like a bargain but in many cases you would be risking wasting your cash on poor quality copies which can also be dangerous. It is not always luxury goods that are counterfeited and the price may only be slightly cheaper than normal.
Buying pirated and fake goods also supports serious crime such as drug dealing, human trafficking and prostitution. It can also provide an additional, undeclared income to benefit cheats and puts genuine local traders out of business.
Be alert to any offers too good to be true and if you spot or believe a trader in Coventry is supplying any fake goods, please report it using our online reporting form or use the Anonymous Hotline: 0300 303 2636.
Trading Standards are authorised to investigate and prosecute offenders under both the Trade Marks Act and the Copyright Designs and Patents Act and in Coventry we regularly seize items from local shops, markets, via the internet and occasionally other outlets. This is often followed by formal action.
When undertaking Trading Standards Enforcement Visits/Warrants in this area Officers will sometimes use Body Worn Cameras. The purpose of which is to enable us to capture evidence.
When undertaking such work – we comply with the Corporate Privacy Statement.
We try to identify manufacturers or importers where possible, but most people who are caught selling counterfeit goods cannot, or will not, tell us where they get the items from. They face prosecution for their part in the fraud and their lack of co-operation.
Retailers are warned to be on the lookout for illegal, counterfeit or non-duty paid alcohol that has been supplied cheaply from the back of a van. Retailers need to check their suppliers and make sure that they get proper receipts. Illegal stock can be seized and it may affect a licence to sell alcohol.
The owners of trademarks and holders of copyright and design rights can take legal action against people who copy their products without their authority. Trading Standards Officers can take criminal enforcement action. The Proceeds of Crime Act gives Investigators powers to examine criminal assets and apply to the courts for confiscation and compensation where there are breaches of Trade Marks law. Enforcement officers can also apply for a licence review where illegal alcohol is being sold.