HC Deb 15 June 1981 vol 6 cc242-3W
Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Trade, following his reply of 30 March, Official Report, c. 1, what action Her Majesty's Government have taken since 30 March to discourage the counterfeiting of British goods, particularly in the Far East; and what further action is proposed.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

It is clear from recent press articles both in Taiwan and in the United Kingdom that the Taiwanese authorities have taken seriously the warnings issued by the United Kingdom Government about counterfeiting and are acting to stop these practices. A detailed list of proposed legal and administrative corrective measures has been provided to the Anglo-Taiwan trade committee. Intended action includes a review of provisions allowing fines as an alternative to prison sentences and an increase in maximum prison sentences from two to three years. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has issued Regulations for the Prevention of Counterfeiting of Trade Marks and Countries of Origin to come into effect on 1 August 1981. The regulations require prior permission for the export of trade-marked goods and the presentation of documentary evidence on trade mark ownership before an export licence will be issued. We do not intend to relax our vigilance until we are convinced that these measures are having the desired effect and Taiwanese counterfeiting ceases to be a problem.

In other countries, with which we have diplomatic contact, I am very willing to arrange bilateral representations, providing adequate evidence of abuse is available. The United Kingdom is also continuing to press for the completion of the GATT agreement to discourage the importation of counterfeit goods.

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