WCO National Workshop on IPR protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina

06 June 2024

From 27 to 31 May 2024, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted a national workshop on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Germany (CCF/Germany).

The event, led by two WCO-accredited IPR experts, brought together 26 Customs officers from the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who work in various areas of Customs and at different levels of responsibility.

This five-day workshop gave participants the opportunity to review their knowledge notably of: the global IPR infringement landscape over the past years; the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); the practical application of IPR risk management techniques; how the WCO IPR CENcomm secure communication tool works and what added value it brings; and how to conduct an online investigation. 

In her opening remarks Zagorka Gojkovic, Head of the Indirect Taxation Authority’s Department of non-tariff measures and IPR protection, expressed her Administration's deep gratitude to the WCO Secretariat for organizing this event and reminded participants of why IPR protection is so important to the country’s economy. She then urged them to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn more about WCO tools and instruments in the field of IPR protection.

The training itself started with a brief presentation by the participants about the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina followed by a round table discussion which generated a fruitful debate on how to adopt a national IPR protection strategy involving all of the country’s stakeholders.

Topics such as risk management techniques related to IPR infringements, and how to detect inconsistencies in transport, commercial and Customs documents in order to take appropriate decisions at Customs control level, were also covered.

The experts took the opportunity of this training to also introduce their audience to a new WCO tool titled “Case studies and risk indicators to identify IPR, health and safety infringing goods related to e-commerce” and explain how this tool could further assist Customs officers with their work when processing goods traded through e-commerce.

The workshop ended by field exercises during which participants were invited to carry out targeted checks at the Customs Post Office and inland Customs terminal in Banja Luka, and put into practice the theoretical concepts they had just gained an understanding of, well aware now that IPR infringements resulting in revenue loss can have an impact on the economic stability, safety and security of countries. This practical session also provided the right context for participants to familiarize themselves with the features of the IPR CENcomm tool used for secure communication in relation to IPR infringements.

For further details of the WCO’s activities in the field of IPR protection, please contact us at: IPRteam@wcoomd.org.