IPR workshop for Customs administrations in the Latin America, Central America and Caribbean region

06 July 2022

From 1 to 3 June 2022, a World Customs Organization (WCO) sub-regional workshop on combatting counterfeiting and piracy was held in Panama City, Panama, with financial support from the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF/Japan).

The main focus of the workshop was raising awareness of the dangers posed by counterfeit goods to the health and safety of citizens and of their economic consequences. The three-day workshop is designed to contribute to the effective and efficient implementation of the WCO’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Strategy 2020.

Some 30 officials from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama and Peru Customs, including representatives of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO) for Central America and South America and a representative of the Joint Intelligence Office Caribbean (JIO), took part in this workshop, either virtually or in person, to share good practices – in particular their risk management techniques – given that counterfeit products have a negative impact not only on innovation, research and national economies but also on the health and safety of consumers.

Ms. Tayra Ivonne Barsallo, Director General of the Panama Customs Administration, gave an address at the workshop during which she stressed that it was crucial to work with the private sector and with other border control agencies and authorities, so as to combat counterfeiting and piracy even more effectively. She reiterated Panama Customs’ commitment to supporting WCO activities aimed at fighting counterfeiting and piracy and conveyed her Administration’s gratitude to the WCO Secretariat and the Japan Customs Administration for organizing this important event.

The WCO’s theme for 2022, which focuses on digital transformation and data culture, was also touched upon during the workshop and participants were invited to make an active contribution to real-time intelligence sharing by registering seizures of counterfeit goods on the WCO’s IPR CENcomm platform.

On the second day of the workshop, 18 right holders each gave very dynamic and interesting in-person presentations of the key features of their own branded products, thereby seeking to enhance Customs officers’ skills for more effectively detecting IPR infringing goods at borders.

Participants also had the opportunity to visit the port of Balboa and apply the theoretical risk assessment concepts they had learned through practical exercises on container targeting using the relevant WCO tools and instruments. 

The workshop was run by two experts from the WCO Secretariat, supported in this task by a Technical and Operational Adviser (TOA) from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who was pre‑accredited in this area.

For more information about IPR activities, please contact: IPRteam@wcoomd.org