WCO IPR workshop organized for Vietnamese Customs officials

01 June 2023

From 8 to 12 May 2023, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted a five-day national workshop focusing on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection of in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The workshop was attended by 26 Vietnamese Customs officials and was made possible through the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF/Japan).

The importance of capacity building in the fight against intellectual property (IP) infringement cannot be overstated. This is a crucial measure for supporting Customs administrations in intercepting counterfeit products at borders. As we all know, these counterfeit products have a negative impact on innovation, research, and national economies, and also pose significant risks to the consumer health and safety. This workshop is part of the WCO approach under its IPR Strategy.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Nguyen Huu Nghiep, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, thanked the WCO Secretariat and CCF/Japan for holding this important workshop. The workshop was of great importance to Vietnam, a country that is increasingly focusing on ensuring effective IPR enforcement at its borders.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Nghiep outlined some of the challenges faced by Vietnamese Customs and stressed the importance of a proactive engagement by right holders. He also highlighted the difficulties it is facing with e-commerce. He urged Customs officials to actively participate in the workshop and to develop positive relationships with right holders.

IPR experts from the WCO Secretariat and Japan Customs explained the legal basis for IPR enforcement and reviewed WCO’s IPR risk management procedures and related tools. Vietnamese Customs representatives gave a detailed presentation on their existing IPR system and the challenges they face in this area. The experts shared their views on how cooperation can be strengthened with stakeholders to promote information sharing with other Customs administrations and the WCO.

The third day was devoted to IPR right holders, who provided participants with practical information on how to distinguish genuine products bearing their brands from counterfeit ones. A roundtable discussion between Vietnamese Customs officials and right holders created a platform for dialogue to develop a more effective cooperation.

Participants and experts also had the opportunity to study measures for combatting counterfeit goods at various locations across Ho Chi Minh City. This field visit provided valuable information on the practical implementation of the strategies discussed during the workshop.

The collaboration of the different stakeholders in this workshop illustrates how collective efforts put in place to fight against IP crime can help protect the interest of innovators, consumers, and economies across the world.

For more information about IPR protection-related activities, please contact us at: IPRteam@wcoomd.org.