WCO Secretary General delivered a recorded message to the 6th Annual International Conference “Georgia Against Counterfeiting and Piracy”

01 August 2022

At the invitation of the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia-Sakpatenti and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) US Department of Commerce, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), delivered a keynote address via recorded video message, to the 6th Annual International Conference “Georgia Against Counterfeiting and Piracy”, held on 25 and 26 July, in Batumi, Georgia.

Secretary General Mikuriya mentioned that “This important task of protecting society from health, safety and economic risks posed by fake or substandard manufacturing practices, often involving criminal organizations, require a solid legal framework for cooperation that defines intellectual property rights, or IPR, and the related border control measures”. He stressed on the importance of cooperation among all stakeholders which are not only international organizations, government authorities but also the IP right holders. He went on to introduce WCO’s recent activities to the stakeholders highlighting online webinars to update Customs officials about medicines and medical equipment linked to COVID-19 and its fake products, citing the successful outcomes of WCO’s Global Operation (STOP and STOP II).

The conference had various sessions addressing IPR enforcement, such as “Global Trends and Challenges”, “Combatting Counterfeiting to protect Health and Safety “. The WCO IPR Health and Safety Programme was introduced. It addresses global trends observed after the COVID-19 Pandemic. The trends relating to counterfeit and illicit items observed by the WCO during the COVID-19 Pandemic, was highlighted during a panel session addressing “International Trends in Combatting Counterfeiting and Piracy”. The importance of cooperation among all stakeholders was highlighted, including information exchange to combat counterfeiting and piracy more effectively.