THE COMMERCE MINISTRY has solicited the support of foreign embassies to launch a “Stop Fake Goods” campaign targeting travellers, while the government says it will stringently inspect traders for counterfeit goods |and examine their tax-payment history.
Thosapone Dansuputra, director-general of the ministry’s Intellectual Property Department, said that in the new year it would strongly urge travellers not to purchase counterfeit goods, in order to ensure that Thailand gets away from its bad reputation for trading of such items.
“The department will join hands with foreign embassies in Thailand to warn each country’s travellers not to buy fake goods during their visits in Thailand, as it is illegal. The government will also set up billboards in many tourist-attraction spots and notable areas to warn shoppers and traders not to buy or sell fake goods,” he said.
The billboards will be erected in such areas as airports, BTS and MRT stations, and trains. They will be in both Thai and English, as well as Chinese in some areas.
Thosapone said that to increase the penalties faced by traders in counterfeit goods, the department had cooperated with the Revenue Department to investigate suspected violators’ tax-payment history. If they are found to have breached the law, they will be punished severely, he said.
To expand the campaign nationwide, the department has asked Commerce Ministry officers in each province to watch carefully for any trading of counterfeit products.
The department will also join forces with copyright owners, police, and the Internal Security Operations Command to inspect each area that has been noted for selling fake goods, such as flea markets.