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Knock Off Manufacturers Target Australian Made Goods

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By Published On: May 24, 20180 Comments

The Australian Made Campaign (AMCL) is the latest target of manufacturers of Chinese knock offs, as ugg boots made overseas are being passed off as proudly Australian-made goods.

The ‘Original Ugg Boots’ company has had its website cloned by an overseas manufacturer, who has created more than 30 fake online stores claiming to sell authentic Australian sheepskin footwear made in a local Melbourne factory.

Some of the domains stocking the falsely labelled Australian Made logo on ugg boots include www.auboot.com.au, www.uggclassic.com.au, and www.uggaustraliancollections.com, to name a few.

Despite claiming to be manufactured in Australia by authentic materials, consumers who purchased the boots have reported receiving their goods direct from a Chinese address with ‘Made in China’ tags. The boots in question are also reportedly made of cowhide and synthetic materials, rather than sheepskin.

“Australia has an excellent reputation for producing quality products and produce, which makes us a target for copycat manufacturers and frauds,” AMCL Deputy Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro said.

“We condemn the use of country of origin claims that are intended to mislead and confuse consumers, particularly when those claims involve unauthorised use of the Australian Made logo.”

According to the ACML, digital trademark infringement notices have been issued to the company’s hosting the websites, which has resulted in a number of the logos being removed from the offending domains. However, the ACML intends to take further legal action, ensuring every website is removed within the next few days.

“In recent times there have been a number of organisations and individuals trying to use the reputation of the ACML and ASA to deceive consumers both locally and overseas.  The ASA has been in cooperation with the ACML and ACCC on identifying those organisations,” Australian Sheepskin Association Secretary, Michael Kaper, said.

“At the same time, the ASA is trying to educate the public through correct product labelling to give consumers confidence in identifying genuine Australian Made sheepskin footwear.”

In light of the incorrect usage of its branding, the ACML has said it contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to take action against the offending sites, and will be working to ensure clear country of origin branding is used across the retail sector to prevent the emergence of counterfeit goods.

This scam comes just weeks after $6.3 million of fake Australian-branded wines, vitamins, foods, and cosmetics were seized by police in southern China.

Much like the ACML scandal, the counterfeit Australian goods were sold predominantly through e-commerce websites and social media platforms, such as WeChat.

Local Chinese paper, The Southern Metropolis Daily, said that police believed the detained suspects had been selling the counterfeit products 50 percent cheaper than the authentic goods retail for, pocketing a 1,000 percent profit.

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