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Counting the cost of imported Olympic fakes.

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Saturday 30 December 2000

Counting the cost of imported Olympic fakes Customs seized more than 133,000 counterfeit imported Olympic items in the lead-up to the Sydney Games, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today.

"There is no doubt that Customs contributed to the success of the Games by stopping some 119 commercial consignments of fake and unlicensed merchandise from being imported into Australia," Senator Vanstone said.

Seized imports ranged from caps (29,704), pins (28,710), deodorising spray cans (12,000) and keyrings (7,312) to clothing (4,962) soccer balls (2,449), clocks and watches (1,704) and bags (1,195).

The goods, seized under specially-enacted Olympic legislation, the Sydney 2000 Games (Indicia and Images) Protection Act, were sent to Australia as cargo by sea and air, mainly to Sydney.

The purpose of the legislation was to ensure that only those authorised by the Sydney Organising

Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) were able to import goods with the approved Olympic logos and associated markings.

"Preserving revenue through licensing arrangements was fundamental to SOCOG’s aim of achieving a good financial outcome for the Games," Senator Vanstone said.

"Many unscrupulous importers may have thought they could make a killing with passing off dud stuff and cashing in on the Olympics but instead they found to their financial cost that they had forfeited and lost the lot."

A program for disposing of the goods is underway.

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