Huge success for the WCO’s IPM at the 7th Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy

03 May 2013

The World Customs Organization (WCO) hosted the 7th Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 24-26 April. On this occasion, the WCO introduced the new mobile version of the Interface Public-Members (IPM), its online tool which serves as an interface between frontline Customs officers and the private sector.

Since its first launch in 2010, over 50 countries have joined IPM and around 3,000 Customs officers are now connected to the system. At the Global Congress, the WCO presented the new version of IPM, enriched with features such as the possibility to use mobile devices to scan GS1 barcodes found on millions of products, making it possible to search multiple databases providing trusted sources of product information in a more time-efficient manner.

During the event, the WCO signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with various Organizations, all aimed at strengthening their co-operation in the fight against counterfeiting. The first MOU was signed by the WCO and three Organizations dedicated to the sporting goods industry: the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), the Associação Brasileira de Artigos Esportivos (MOVE), and the Russian Association of Sports Industry Enterprises (RASIE).

The WCO also signed MOUs with the Asociación Nacional para la Defensa de la Marcas (ANDEMA), and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

In addition to acknowledging each Organizations’ respective activities to combat counterfeiting and piracy, these MOUs are largely focused on the promotion of IPM and the exchange of information to help train Customs officers. 

The private sector also chose the Global Congress to formalize their membership in IPM. Representatives from both Nestlé and British American Tobacco expressed their excitement at joining IPM which they feel is a great tool to increase their capacity to hinder counterfeiting of their brands by providing Customs officers with essential information on their products and shipments.

All participants present at the Congress agreed that faced with the complex and growing phenomenon that is counterfeiting, global action is necessary. In this respect, the WCO took advantage of the Congress to launch IPM Connected, a global network of track&trace and authentication solutions interfaced with IPM, making them available to Customs officers in the field around the world. 

"IPM, globally recognized by our private sector partners for its proven efficiency, is used by more and more Customs officers worldwide. The tool’s new functionalities make it even more accessible and accurate. Customs officers can rapidly obtain up-to-date information on products, helping and training them to distinguish genuine from fake products" said Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya. 

IPM is expected to offer additional features over the course of the next year, from allowing Customs officers to control physical products to ensuring that they obtain more detailed information on products throughout the entire supply chain cycle.

More Information

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