Fakes and Counterfeiting

Why shouldn't we accept or buy counterfeit goods?

  • Con artists supply fakes to those who demand a brand name but cannot afford the real thing. 18% of world trade is in counterfeit products.
  • These cheats profit from their trade by five or ten times their cost outlay.
  • Counterfeiting is part of the black market economy where only the seller profits - they pay no taxes, so the state doesn't benefit.
  • It is a real threat to UK trade and increases crime. Counterfeiters use their goods and profits to barter for hard drugs.
  • It is linked to street crime and disorder.
  • There is no quality guarantee, the goods are cheap, the profits high; films on DVD may run for an hour before breaking up. Sound and focus may be poor.
  • Counterfeiting costs real jobs and affects sales of genuine merchandise.
  • It is unfair to honest businesses.
  • It damages the brand image and so rubbishes the product you are buying.
  • Selling fakes is a criminal offence and carries a ten year sentence.

We take counterfeiting very seriously. Every year we send people to prison for making and selling fake goods. 

For information and guidance notes specific to your business, please follow the link to the ERWlN website. (ERWIN stands for 'everything regulation whenever it's needed').

Campaign to stop fakes

We are interested in receiving information from you relating to the illegal sale of :

  • fake cigarettes or tobacco;
  • fake clothing;
  • electrical goods; and
  • copied or pirated CD’s and DVD's.

The information you give will help us to act against and investigate people selling fake goods. We will treat this information confidentially. We will seize and destroy fake goods, and can also seize criminal property including money and assets gained from crime. Criminals will be prosecuted. 

See the link on the left to report dealers in fake goods.