WCO successfully conducts an IPR Accreditation Workshop for Spanish-speakers

11 February 2022

From 7 to 11 February 2022, in Mexico City, Mexico, the World Customs Organization (WCO) successfully conducted a second Regional Accreditation Workshop for Technical Operational Advisers (TOAs) for the Americas and Caribbean region, with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan.

The objective of the workshop was to prepare a pool of Spanish-speaking Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) TOAs to conduct workshops on behalf of the WCO, thus increasing the number of Technical Assistances delivered to Hispanophone Member countries who are faced with the challenge of combatting ever-changing and more sophisticated counterfeiting and piracy methods.

Eight pre-selected Customs officers from Argentina, Belize, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico and the United States demonstrated their skills and abilities during the five-day intensive programme through a range of exercises, including presentations, discussions and role-play. The workshop was facilitated jointly by three Experts from the WCO Secretariat, and one IPR Accredited Expert.

The workshop was a major achievement under the framework of the new version of the IPR strategy 2020, approved by the 41st Meeting of the Enforcement Committee (EC). Capacity building is one of the five (5) pillars of this strategy, with the particular aim of building up the pool of accredited experts to support the Secretariat in the conduct of its activities.

The workshop was launched virtually by Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, WCO Director for Compliance and Facilitation and Mr. Werner Ovalle, the WCO Vice-Chair for Americas/Caribbean region. Director Das congratulated the participants and highlighted the importance of the close cooperation between Customs administrations. He stressed on the importance for a Member-driven organization like the WCO to facilitate information sharing among Members, and congratulated the WCO IPR accredited experts for their contribution in the design of the content of the upcoming CliKC module on counterfeit medicines.

Vice-Chair Ovalle thanked the WCO Secretariat and the Japanese CCF for holding the Accreditation Workshop in the Americas/Caribbean region and mentioned the excellent coordination of the National Customs Agency of Mexico (SAT). He further acknowledged the importance of the new tools developed by the Secretariat such as the IPR Training Handbook on Legal and Practical Measures against Offences Relating to Intellectual Property Rights and the IPR Self-Assessment Tool, adding that together with activities like the Accreditation Process, will ease the implementation of the IPR Strategy 2020.

The TOA accreditation process comprises two phases. The first one consists of the successful completion of a one-week workshop, and the second one relates to a field Mission. The objective is to assess the ability of participants to conduct capacity-building activities in the IPR domain. Only participants who meet the expected level of training will be accredited as IPR Expert.

Learn more: IPRteam@wcoomd.org