GUANGZHOU: The city's quality and technical supervision officials face a new and perplexing dilemma: How to handle the growing piles of confiscated fake and low-quality goods.
In the past, they would incinerate any products seized to show a firm stance against such crimes and avert any profit-making potential.
Now, as criticism grows, officials are being flooded with proposals on how to handle those products.
Huang Jianwen, director of the information office of the municipal government's bureau of quality and technical supervision, told China Daily that current methods to handle such products - including burning, recycling and public bidding - have not proved efficient.
Burning causes too much pollution while recycling or restoring them for public sale is too expensive.
While the bureau spared no efforts to crack down on fake and low quality products, and confiscated more than 55 million yuan (US$6.7 million) worth of such products last year.
There are hurdles, however.
Storage costs alone have climbed to more than 2.7 million yuan (US$326,400) per year.
"It has become a budget burden for us to handle such goods if we can not find new ways to deal with them," said Huang.
The problem was compounded in 2002 when the provincial government prohibited the incineration of solid trash, including seized products.
That was when the bureau and the municipal government began seeking new ways to handle the problem.
Experts and officials from law-enforcement departments have suggested handing products to specific departments for special use or donating them to welfare organizations.
"It seems like a good way since a lot of poor people are still in need of daily goods, and such confiscated products, for instance, clothes, cater to them," said Huang.
But since those goods are often labelled with copies of renowned brands, the donations have to be conducted consciously, otherwise they could trigger intellectual property right problems, said Huang.
Local residents like the plan, however.
They say it could directly benefit those in need and reduce storage expenses.
But, a professor surnamed Deng with Zhongshan University said the plan will not help anyone.
He said donations will not stop the production of fake products.
"We should stop any use of such fake and low quality goods to further crack down on any production of such goods since they violate the law," said Deng.
(China Daily 04/16/2004 page3)