Counterfeit goods: how Australian businesses can protect themselves

The importation of counterfeit goods, such as clothing, handbags, shoes and cosmetics, poses a great risk to Australian businesses. Counterfeit goods can harm your brand reputation, impact profits, discourage innovation and risk consumer health and safety.

If you’re an intellectual property (IP) rights owner concerned about the potential damage of goods that infringe your IP, there are steps you can take to prevent their importation.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) enforces IP rights through Australia’s Notice of Objection Scheme, which enables it to seize imported goods that are suspected of infringing trade marks, copyright, Olympic insignia or indicia related to sporting events. Brand owners who have concerns about counterfeit imports should lodge a Notice of Objection with the ABF.

A Notice of Objection is a legal document, which allows the ABF to seize goods that: 

  • are subject to customs control
  • appear to infringe IP rights and
  • are intended for commercial purposes.

Each year, the ABF enforces over 600 Notices of Objection on behalf of brand owners. During the 2015-16 financial year more than 190,000 individual items of counterfeit and pirated goods were seized, worth about $17 million.

The ABF has an important role in facilitating legitimate trade while enforcing the laws that protect IP rights and the safety of the Australian community.

For more information about the Notice of Objection Scheme and to notify the ABF of suspected counterfeit goods, visit www.border.gov.au.

Find more information on counterfeiting and piracy offences.

Published: 
9 March 2017

Add new comment