Counterfeit Shipping Containers on the Rise

The Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) has issued an alert about increased incidences of counterfeit shipping containers appearing in Australia.


DIBP-ABF (Australian Border Force) have warned Australian importers, exporters and agents about an alarming rise in the number of counterfeit containers turning up at our ports and warehouses. A counterfeit shipping container (also known as a fake, cloned or re-birthed container) is a container that has had its unique identifier erased from its exterior and replaced with that of another legitimate container’s unique identifier.

The counterfeit container can then be used as a substitute for the copied container and may be used to facilitate a range of border related offences.

Below is a list of indicators to look out for and report to your Customs broker:

 Repainted display numbers

 Alterations to corner castings

 Display numbers do not match plate or casting number

 Evidence of grinding of the corner casting

 Original numbers partially hidden or showing through

 Container Safety Plate or Manufacturers Plate damaged altered or replaced

 Any evidence of an attempt to replace serial numbers

 Incorrect placement of container number

We ask that if any of our clients have reason to suspect that a full or empty container delivered to them may be a fake, contact us without delay so we can report to Border Watch and find the appropriate solution.