Mansfield District Council has teamed up with Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards Service to sign up to a national campaign which aims to tackle the problem of counterfeit goods sold on markets.
The District Council is applying to join the Real Deal scheme through the County Council. The Real Deal campaign is a nationwide cross sector, partnership initiative, bringing together Trading Standards services, market operators and traders, industry groups, and copyright and trademark owners, all of whom are united with a common commitment to tackling the problem of a small minority of illicit traders selling illegal products on markets.
Illegal goods which are not welcome on the markets in Mansfield include stolen goods, counterfeit goods, unsafe goods, tobacco products (duty unpaid), alcoholic goods, offensive weapons, fireworks and items of a pornographic nature.
Both Councils are committed to ensuring that both consumers and traders visiting the markets in Mansfield can be confident that the goods they buy are legitimate, safe and as described.
Across the country, local authority Trading Standards services and many market operators are working hard to ensure local markets and car boot sales are safe and fair environments in which to trade and to shop. The nature of the traders who deal in illicit goods means that they will often move from one market to another to avoid detection.
The consequences for illicit market traders, who are not welcome on Real Deal markets, can be severe. They can expect to have their goods seized and be subject to an investigation, which can lead to a prosecution report. The penalties for Trademark Act offences can include up to ten years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Illicit market traders can also expect to be removed from the market and have their details shared with other Trading Standards services in the region. They may also decide to have them removed from their Real Deal markets.
When buying goods, shoppers are advised to only buy from reputable suppliers, to keep accurate written records/invoices of your purchases and where necessary seek written assurances that goods bought are legitimate, safe and as described.
Illegal goods supplied with a verbal assurance from an unknown supplier, through cash transactions with no traceability to the supplier, may not be a sufficient defence under both trade mark and safety legislation. In addition, if a member of the public suffers a personal injury or damage to their property and the supplier cannot be traced, the seller may be liable.
Cllr Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration at Mansfield District Council, said: “Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Mansfield with many successful businesses starting life on a market stall before growing into bigger premises. We are totally committed in actively encouraging quality products to be sold on our markets. Illicit market traders not only have a detrimental effect on the reputation of both the market and legitimate traders, they can impact on the reputation of the brands they sell and their customers by supplying both unsafe and incorrectly described goods.
“While Mansfield Market not only adds vibrancy to the town centre, it plays a vital role in the community, helping to make Mansfield a destination for all – whether shopping, visiting, as a place to live or location to work.”
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “We are delighted Mansfield District Council has joined forces with the County Council to stamp out the sale of illicit goods at Mansfield Market.
“Signing up to the Real Deal sends a clear message to traders that we do not tolerate the sale of counterfeit, dangerous, illegal or inappropriate goods on the market.”
If you have concerns that illegal goods are being supplied you can bring it to the attention of Mansfield District Council by calling 01623 463 733 and/or Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards on 01623 452 005.
Alternatively you can ring Crime Stoppers anonymously Tel: 0800 555 111.