New laws take anti-counterfeit battle to NZ's borders, retailers

New laws take anti-counterfeit battle to NZ's borders, retailers


New laws take anti-counterfeit battle to NZ's borders, retailers WELLINGTON, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Retailers and importers in New Zealand were warned Friday they will come under greater scrutiny with the implementation of two new laws to crack down on the counterfeit goods.

The Trade Marks Amendment Act and the Copyright Amendment Act, which came into force Friday, give new powers to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Customs Service to investigate and prosecute people involved in the manufacture, importation, and sale of illegal goods.

The Trade Marks Amendment Act also allows the ministry's National Enforcement Unit to scrutinize goods being offered for sale in public places such as markets, fairs, and retail outlets, and seize counterfeit or pirated goods.

The new powers will enable the two agencies to work in with the New Zealand Police and property rights holders to enforce criminal offenses for importing and selling counterfeit goods and pirated works.

"The illicit trade of counterfeit goods undermines the productivity of innovative New Zealand businesses and threatens the profitability of honest traders," Commerce Minister Simon Power said Friday.

However, he said, responsibility for protecting and enforcing copyright and registered trademarks still lay with the rights holders.

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said Customs officers would focus on importers of commercial quantities of counterfeit goods, recidivist offenders, and cases where there was a serious question of community health and safety.

"Illicit traders are moving beyond luxury items and into common everyday household products such as medicines, car parts, electrical goods, electronic equipment, and food products," said Williamson.

"These people have no regard for health and safety standards, and these increased powers will help us crack down on the amount of counterfeit goods entering the country."


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