New IPR tool bolsters Customs-Business partnership

02 February 2011

New IPR tool bolsters Customs-Business partnership

Brussels, 2 February 2011

Press Release

On the occasion of the Sixth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy being held in Paris from 2-3 February 2011, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, welcomed the growing interest being shown in the WCO's new tool to combat counterfeiting and piracy.

The new tool, known as Interface Public-Members (IPM), was launched by the WCO after signing the Cotonou Declaration (a Chirac Foundation initiative to ensure access to safe medicine in Africa) in June 2010 as a symbolic gesture of the Customs community’s commitment to stopping the trade in fake medicines as part of a united front.

IPM consists of an online database enabling Rights Holders to provide Customs field officers with real-time data on their products as well as information making it possible to distinguish between “genuine” and “fake” goods. Customs field officers can access this information and training tool, free of charge, anywhere in the world via simple and secure user interfaces in their own language.

"This new tool is another example of the WCO's commitment to working closely with its partners in business to share information, knowledge and know-how," said Secretary General Mikuriya. "This is even more significant as the WCO honoured this partnership throughout 2010 and now begins celebrating its Year of Knowledge in 2011," Mikuriya added.

To date, 65 Customs administrations representing every continent have expressed an interest in using IPM, which will gradually be made available to them from the first quarter of 2011 onwards. As for Rights Holders, the tool is accessible to international companies and single-country businesses alike.

The WCO expects up to 400 rights holders to have signed up to the IPM by the end of 2011 based on feedback obtained and agreements signed.

Philippe Vorreux
Tel. : +32 2 209 94 11
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