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The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has recently laid criminal charges against CL NZ Trading Company Limited and its director Terry Lung Chan for importing counterfeit Rugby World Cup 2011 apparel.
“MED, the New Zealand Customs Service and Rugby World Cup Limited have set in place a comprehensive border and post-border detection process for counterfeit Rugby World Cup 2011 merchandise” said Phil Day, Manager of MED’s National Enforcement Unit.
“We are focused on not only intercepting counterfeit Rugby World Cup 2011 merchandise but also on taking prosecution action against those involved.”
The defendants are alleged to have imported over 1,000 counterfeit t-shirts, which were intercepted and detained by Customs in December 2009. If convicted on these charges, the company and its director Terry Chan are liable to a fine of up to $150,000.
The defendants are due to appear in the Auckland District Court on 6 May 2010.
The case against CL NZ Trading Limited and its director is the result of a joint investigation between Customs Investigations and MED.
“The case highlights that almost a year and a half out from the Rugby World Cup, attempts are already being made to sell counterfeit product in New Zealand” said Day. “Consumers should take care to ensure that the Rugby World Cup 2011 merchandise they purchase is genuine product from an official supplier.”
“If fans don’t buy goods through official sales channels, they could find themselves in possession of poor quality counterfeit product or in relation to tickets turned away from Rugby World Cup 2011 matches.”
Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has today released a television commercial to help inform and protect consumers from being ‘let down’ by buying unofficial merchandise, as well as unofficial tickets or hospitality. This commercial can be viewed at www.youtube.com/rugbyworldcup.
CL NZ Trading Limited and its director are the first to be charged under the Major Events Management Act 2007, under which Rugby World Cup 2011 has been declared a major event. A user-friendly guide to the practical application of the Act was released earlier today and is available on www.rugbyworldcup.com and www.med.govt.nz.
“It is fantastic for us as owners of Rugby World Cup 2011 to work together with MED and Customs to protect the genuine Rugby supporter and ultimately the event. This prosecution combined with the television commercial and guide to the Major Events Management Act will hopefully continue to raise the public awareness of the dangers of buying unofficial Rugby World Cup 2011 tickets, merchandise and hospitality, ” said Mike Miller, RWCL Managing Director.