Ecuador welcomes WCO workshop on IPR protection

15 December 2022

From 28 November to 2 December 2022, the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered a national workshop on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The workshop was attended by 20 officials from Ecuador Customs and was facilitated by an expert from the WCO Secretariat along with two pre-accredited experts from Argentina and the Dominican Republic.

In his opening address, Mr. Lenin Castro, Assistant Director-General for Customs Regulations at the National Customs Service of Ecuador, commented that IPR protection remained a priority for his country. He thanked the WCO Secretariat for organizing the workshop and went on to invite the participants to share their experience with their colleagues after the workshop. He closed his speech by wishing the two pre‑accredited experts every success in the completion of their accreditation.

During the five-day training, participants learned about the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), the theoretical concepts surrounding IPR and the broad spectrum of the most frequent IPR infringements encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also received information on the relevant WCO’s tools and instruments for managing IPR-related risks, which resulted in some interesting discussions among participants as well as with the speakers.

The second day of the workshop was given over to rights holders. Twelve trademarks were the focus of speeches, including practical presentations on “how to differentiate the fake from the genuine”. Cooperation with rights holders remains vital in the policies and strategies adopted to combat counterfeiting and piracy, hence the importance of their participation in the range of IPR‑related capacity building activities organized by the WCO.

Putting into practice the theoretical knowledge they had acquired in relation to targeting and risk management, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Port of Guayaquil and carry out various practical exercises. They could put directly into practice the skills they had acquired during the workshop with regard to counterfeit product detection. The participants therefore had the opportunity to be involved in the opening of containers and observe a live demonstration on the benefits of using the WCO’s IPR CENcomm communication tool. Then, in groups, participants followed the procedures and directly recorded the details of the seizures on the platform.

Furthermore, a fruitful discussion was held on the need to establish a strong national strategy on IPR, health and safety matters, based on the following fundamental components: a legal framework comprising a procedures guide, a framework for consultation with all the stakeholders, and some guidelines on strategies for raising awareness, building capacity, managing the risks and implementing operations.

This workshop contributes to the implementation of the WCO’s IPR Strategy, which was approved by the Enforcement Committee (EC) at its 41st Session and for which capacity building activities continue to be one of the core components.

For further information on the WCO’s activities in the area of IPR protection, please contact us at: