Accreditation Workshop on IPR for the Asia Pacific region

06 June 2019

From 27 to 31 May 2019, the WCO organized an Accreditation Workshop for Technical Operational Advisers (TOAs) on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the Asia/Pacific (A/P) region in Bangkok, Thailand, with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF/Japan).

Eleven Customs officers from ten Member administrations, namely Australia, Hong Kong (China), India, Iran, Lao PDR, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Union of Myanmar and Vietnam, participated in the Workshop and demonstrated their skills in the IPR field, with the goal of becoming WCO Accredited Experts in the future.

This Workshop was held to establish a pool of TOAs, specialized in legal and institutional aspects of IPR and who will subsequently become “Legal Advisors”. The A/P region has always been strategically important for Customs enforcement of IPR at borders because of its unique status as both a producer and consumer of counterfeit products. The region was chosen in response to the growing number of requests for technical assistance by Customs administrations, with a view to improving their legal/administrative procedures and organizational structures for IPR.

The accreditation of TOAs comprises two phases, the first being a workshop to identify participants with high potential and the second being field missions to finally assess participants’ ability to facilitate capacity building activities in these specific domains. Only participants having successfully completed the workshop phase can proceed to the field mission phase. Once fully accredited, they are expected to facilitate IPR-related missions and offer practical advice to Member countries wishing to strengthen their IPR border measures.  

During the five-day intensive Workshop, participants demonstrated their IPR knowledge and skills through a number of exercises, including presentations, discussions and role-plays. The whole event was jointly facilitated by two experts from the WCO Secretariat and an expert from the A/P Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB).