Fraudulent labels

21 forty foot containers of acetate tow on pallets arrived at a US port from Brazil. The shipping line instructed their US agent to arrange for the pallets to be unstuffed from the line’s containers and reloaded into containers belonging to another line for onward carriage to Hong Kong.

The Brazilian shippers sent descriptive labels to the US ship agent, with the request that they be passed to the terminal for affixing to the pallets of acetate tow before they were reloaded into containers. Several months later the US agents received a writ issued by a Hong Kong court for USD3,000,000 accusing them of colluding in a fraud. The new labels which the agent had passed to the terminal said “Made in the USA” whereas the acetate tow was of Brazilian origin. The case was successfully defended, but not without the expenditure of considerable time, trouble and legal costs.

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