COVID-19: WCO launches an IPR CENcomm Group for data exchange on counterfeit medical supplies and fake medicines

25 March 2020

While the world is gripped by the fight against COVID-19, criminal organizations have turned this global pandemic into an opportunity to carry out their fraudulent activities, particularly by trafficking counterfeit medical supplies such as face masks and medical gloves.

Recognizing the importance of permanent and real-time exchange of relevant information to fight these criminal activities, the World Customs Organization (WCO) launched the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) CENcomm Group on the newly modernized CENcomm 3.0 platform.

“The WCO stands for a united and strong response to any crisis, which affects the global supply chain and safety of societies,” said WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. “This new IPR CENcomm group will globally enhance real-time  intelligence sharing on fake medical supplies and medicines and enable Customs worldwide to fight illicit trade. Organized criminal groups will not be the winner in this challenge,” added Dr. Mikuriya.

This tool, a web-based communication system, will allow a closed user group of Customs officers to exchange intelligence information, messages and alerts via secure channels. This information exchange will empower and enhance participating administrations’ risk management and enforcement operations in the areas of countering IPR infringements and consumers safety capacity.  

The WCO urges its 183 Members to register for the IPR CENcomm Group and to submit the details of their national contact points of this group.

The WCO is constantly monitoring the development of this situation and is updating its Members on any new development through the dedicated WCO webpage.

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