TRADING standards are warning market traders in Thurrock to be careful about the stock they buy after one of was found to be selling counterfeit goods in Grays.
Thurrock Council’s officers discovered a number of counterfeit mobile phone accessories on a market stall in the town – including phone cases, headphones, USB cables and mouse mats.
Brands such as Apple, Beats by Dr Dre, Louis Vuitton, BlackBerry, Manchester United FC and BMW were among the items being sold.
The items were removed from sale by officers and the market trader was issued with a written warning.
Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for public protection Cllr Angie Gaywood said: “It is an offence to sell counterfeit goods and traders found guilty can face unlimited fines or up to ten years in prison.
“Counterfeit goods are often of inferior quality and sometimes even unsafe and the council takes its duties to weed out these goods or any unscrupulous traders very seriously indeed.
“It is equally important that the traders themselves take this message on board – if they don’t check the goods they are buying to put on their stalls they could be in for quite a shock.”
Thurrock Council is advising market traders to make sure they choose reputable suppliers; ensure they are given detailed invoices; and ask for written confirmation that branded goods are genuine.
Free advice is available to local businesses on trademarks, consumer rights and other matters – by calling 01375 652955 and speaking to the council’s trading standards business advice team.
People are also encouraged to report the sale of counterfeit goods to trading standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.
An online directory of approved stockists for brands such as Adidas and GHD can be found at www.brand-i.org.