19th Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group Meeting

21 November 2022

The 19th Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group Meeting, organized in a hybrid format, was held on 16 and 17 November 2022, following on from a first document-based phase which had taken place from 31 October to 14 November 2022 and during which delegates had re-elected Mr. Olo Sib Pale, Customs Attaché from Côte d’Ivoire, as Chairperson for the meeting.

During the document-based phase, the delegates had examined the various Agenda items, including the item concerning the Report of the 18th Meeting and had discussed the changes made to the CAP Group’s Terms of Reference and its extraordinary means of operation.

229 delegates registered for this meeting from the WCO Member administrations including the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs), international organizations, and the private sector.

Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Director of the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, opened the meeting by expressing his thanks to the delegates for the quality of the work accomplished during the document-based phase and for their favourable reception of the two new tools presented for their consideration. He went on to thank all Members for their involvement and donors for their continuing support for the activities of the WCO’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Health and Safety Programme.

Following approval of the IPR Strategy 2020 by the 41st Meeting of the Enforcement Committee (EC) in March 2021, the Secretariat had set about developing new tools to provide more effective support for WCO Members in the fight against counterfeit and/or pirated goods trafficking, taking into account in particular the growth of e-commerce as well as the priorities established in the WCO’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025.

These new tools are: (i) the compilation of case studies and risk indicators to identify intellectual property right (IPR), health and safety infringing goods related to e‑commerce; and (ii) Guidelines on environmentally safe storage and destruction of intellectual property infringing goods. Both tools will therefore be referred for approval by the 43rd Meeting of the EC.

The Members-only session of the meeting provided a forum for delegates not only to take stock of the activities undertaken by the Secretariat and Members alike since the previous meeting and the way forward for Operation STOP, but also to endorse the CAP Group’s Work Programme 2023-2024.

Delegates also had the opportunity to hear the report on the outcomes of the 9th Meeting of the Rights Holders Consultative Group at the joint session with the private sector. This item was followed by two panel discussions on “How to build a data ecosystem to strengthen IPR protection” and the “Sharing of best practices for the protection of geographical indications”.

The CAP Group was established in 2009 to serve as a forum for Customs administrations to share their experiences, practices and initiatives on border measures to be adopted in respect of goods that infringe intellectual property rights (IPRs) and/or are detrimental to consumer health.

Bringing the meeting to a close, the Chairperson Mr. Sib Pale commended the delegates for their active involvement and welcomed the meaningful nature of the discussions: testaments to the pledge by Members and stakeholders to strive for stronger protection of IPRs at the borders.

For further information, please contact us at: IPRteam@wcooomd.org.