Nearly 1,500 toys said to be destined for stands at the Royal Show in Perth have been seized by Australian Border Police officers over fears they may be counterfeits.
Among the ABF officers’ huge haul at Perth International Airport were hundreds of stuffed Pokémon toys, pencil cases, keychains and hair clips that authorities believe could violate intellectual property laws.
In total, the ABF records 1,465 items and investigates the legitimacy of the products.
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The seizure occurred from a traveler who was searched upon returning from Thailand. They had explained that they were transporting commercial goods “purportedly intended for sale at the Perth Royal Show”, which begins on Saturday September 23 at the Claremont Showground.
“There are serious health, safety and environmental concerns regarding counterfeit versions of products, including children’s toys, cosmetics, batteries and even safety equipment such as airbags,” said ABF Superintendent Vesna Gavranich.
“These items were intended for the Royal Show and were unlikely to be safe for children to the extent expected by the community.
“When making purchasing decisions, remember: If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.”
The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia said it was working with license holders to ensure no dodgy fraudsters sneak through.
“A prerequisite for participating as an exhibitor is that you have the appropriate licenses, and we check the goods on site,” said managing director Robyn Sermon.
The seizure was revealed shortly after WA Consumer Protection warned parents about potentially unsafe novelties and toys.
The regulator issued eight infringement notices against Royal Show stand operators and their suppliers in 2022 for non-compliant goods. The fines totaled $31,680.
Consumer Protection will again deploy product safety inspectors to check stands and display bags this year and has warned they will not hesitate to report violations immediately.
In fiscal year 2023, the ABF seized more than 112,000 individual counterfeit items valued at $40 million.
The Perth Royal Show runs until September 30th.