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2nd Arab Forum on Consumer Protection from Commercial Fraud and Counterfeits

10 October 2010

2 nd Arab Forum on Consumer Protection from Commercial Fraud and Counterfeits

Riyadh, 10-12 October 2010

Report

Saudi Customs organized the 2nd Arab Forum on Consumer Protection from Commercial Fraud and Counterfeits in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 10-12 October 2010. The Forum was attended by more than 800 stakeholders, including representatives from Customs administrations in the region, other other concerned agencies, the private sector, and the media to showcase the enhanced cooperation in the fight against counterfeiting.

During the opening session under the chair of Acting Minister of Finance Al khwaiter, Director General Al-Khaliwi of Saudi Customs stressed the central role Customs plays in protecting consumers. Secretary General Mikuriya recalled the 1st Arab Forum in 2008 which acted as wake-up call for the Arab region to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) whilst sending out a positive message to the world on the efforts by the region to join the fight against counterfeiting and piracy – Saudi Arabia was subsequently awarded a special prize at the WCO Council in 2009 in recognition of their initiative to raise awareness on IPR issues and since then there has been a significant increase in seizures of counterfeits by Saudi Customs.

Mr. Mikuriya also underlined the importance of enhancing the partnership approach with other Customs administrations, other governmental agencies, the business community and other stakeholders, supported by political leaders and judicial authorities.

The meeting reviewed the legal framework, the role of government sectors and consumer protection, e-commerce and other aspects related to border protection of IPR. Participants also learned from the experiences of heads of regional Customs administrations. Saudi Customs concurrently organized an exhibition on the effects of counterfeits in cooperation with right holders to raise the awareness of consumers through the media and the business community.