WCO participates in International Intellectual Property Protection Forum virtual seminar

08 March 2021

At the invitation of the International Intellectual Property Protection Forum (IIPPF), the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, attended an online seminar hosted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on 3 March 2021.

Following the welcoming address by Mr. Nobuhiko Sasaki, Chairman and CEO of JETRO, Dr. Mikuriya described the many challenges faced by Customs in terms of ensuring effective intellectual property right (IPR) enforcement at borders. These include a lack of awareness by consumers, the availability of appropriate legislation, Customs capacity and right holder engagement, as well as additional issues stemming from the particular characteristics of e-commerce and Free Trade Zones.

Secretary General Mikuriya went on to confirm that these different issues have been examined by the WCO in collaboration with the relevant authorities and right holders, and addressed through measures such as the development of standards, information sharing on best practices, organization of international operations and capacity building activities. The seminar also explored ways of enhancing cooperation between the WCO and the IIPPF.

The Secretary General concluded by thanking the IIPPF for giving him the opportunity to present recent WCO activities in the area of IPR border enforcement, and for the strong interest expressed by Japanese stakeholders in joining WCO initiatives to combat counterfeiting and piracy with a view to protecting consumer health and safety.