WCO marks World Intellectual Property Day 2022

26 April 2022

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is pleased to join with the international community today, 26 April, in celebrating World Intellectual Property Day 2022 under the theme “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future". This year’s celebration is aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of ingenuity and creativity, especially by young people around the world who, supported by proper intellectual property (IP) systems, are able to contribute to stronger economic growth by bringing their ideas to life.

With a view to promoting the important role played by intellectual property rights (IPRs) in encouraging and protecting innovation, the WCO held an online event today attended by the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the global Customs community and key stakeholders including other international organizations, right holders, academia, industry and media.

The event brought together more than 200 participants who discussed the wide-ranging challenges faced by Customs and right holders in the area of IPR, including those posed by e-commerce and free trade zones. It was an opportunity for the WCO to reaffirm its commitment to making Customs administrations leading actors in the international fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

“The global economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy is growing more severe every year due to the ensuing adverse effects on innovation, considered to be the main driver of economic growth,” said Dr. Mikuriya.

“The role of Customs in combating counterfeiting and piracy is crucial for maintaining sustainable economic development, preventing unfair competition, guaranteeing equal market access for all business actors and protecting public health, particularly by promoting robust global supply chains,” he added.

The WCO is working closely with the private sector and other stakeholders under its IPR, Health and Safety Programme, which strives to minimize the devastating effects of counterfeiting and piracy. A major component of the Programme is delivering capacity building and awareness-raising activities to ensure that WCO Members are fully equipped, both at a policy and an operational level, to fight counterfeiting and piracy.