Warning over counterfeit containers

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is warning shippers to be on the lookout for counterfeit containers.

According to a Border Watch issued by the DIBP, parties substituting a legitimate container with a counterfeit are potentially enabling a “range of border-related offences” to be enacted.

Also known as a fake, cloned or re-birthed container, a counterfeit box is one that has had its unique identifier erased from its exterior and replaced with that of another legitimate container.

The Customs Brokers’ and Forwarders’ Council of Australia (CBFCA) reports that an importer, when recently unpacking two containers, found not the goods ordered but instead the containers filled with cheap brick pavers.

“The whole containers were substituted and counterfeited,” states the CBFCA.

“We were told that this particular incident was a very primitive attempt as the containers in question were very old and in poor condition. So the possibility for a more widespread sophisticated operation cannot be underestimated.”

Enquiries with the New Zealand Customs Service and the Custom Brokers’ and Freight Forwarders’ Federation of New Zealand revealed no such issues have presented on these shores to date.

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