If you think somebody is selling fake goods, please contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 2231133.

Counterfeit goods are generally of poor quality and don't come with any guarantees or after-sales service. They don't have the same quality control procedures as the genuine article and could well be unsafe. Factories producing these goods don't follow basic hygiene procedures and the items are often made in 'sweatshops' using child labour.

What we do

We visit shops and markets in the borough to check that counterfeit goods are not being sold. We investigate complaints about fake goods and carry out projects to monitor the marketplace and stop the spread of this type of crime.
We have the power to investigate instances where counterfeit goods are being supplied. People who produce, sell or possess counterfeit goods may be committing criminal offences. There are serious consequences for businesses found guilty in the courts of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

What you can do

The most important thing you can do is to say 'NO' to counterfeit goods. Follow this simple checklist:

  • Be wary of bargains. Remember - if something seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Check the quality of the goods. Fakes will not be as good as the real thing
  • Check labels and packaging for spelling mistakes and poorly printed logos
  • Be careful at markets, car boot sales, pubs and computer fairs, or other places where you may have difficulty contacting the trader after purchase

Business advice

If your business is based in the borough and you need advice about this subject or other consumer and fair trading matters, you can contact us directly at trading.standards@merton.gov.uk. You can also visit the Business Companion website which covers all major Trading Standards legislation.

For comprehensive and up to date guidance on how to deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns visit the Business Companion website. All the training and promotional materials provided are available to access online or to download in a variety of formats.

The law

Registered trade marks are protected under the Trade Marks Act 1994. It is illegal to apply a registered trade mark to goods without the permission of the trade mark owner.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 deals with copyright issues that may occur with computer programs, CDs, DVDs and other electronic media. The copyright may be infringed if these goods are copied without the permission of the copyright owner.

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