Workshop focusing on strengthening strategies on combating counterfeiting and piracy for Customs administrations in the Asia/Pacific region

17 May 2024

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in collaboration with the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for the Asia/Pacific region, held a regional workshop from 14 to 17 May 2024 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop addressed the best practices for combating counterfeiting and piracy in accordance with the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Strategy adopted by the WCO.

With financial backing provided by the Japan Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Japan), the workshop took place at the Vietnam Customs School in Hanoi City. In attendance were 27 supervisors and front-line officers experienced in IPR protection in their respective Customs administrations in the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Korea, Fiji, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vietnam.

In his opening address, Mr. Van Khanh Vu, the Rector from Vietnam Customs conveyed his Administration’s gratitude to the WCO and Japan for organizing an event of this kind in Hanoi and highlighted the importance of adopting a regional approach for addressing the threat posed to the region’s economies by counterfeiting and piracy. Finally, he confirmed his administration's willingness to host other WCO activities on the premises of the Vietnam Customs School.

Hosted by an expert from the Secretariat and with support from two pre-accredited experts from Japan and Bangladesh, the workshop began with presentations on global and regional trends in IPR infringements and recommended practices for securing the best protection from those infringements at the borders, in the light of which participants shared their experiences of the challenges they had faced in their respective countries.
The next topic of discussion concerned the risk management and targeting techniques applying in relation to IPR. Here, the WCO’s IPR CENcomm secure communication tool had been very useful. Two new WCO tools were also introduced, namely the e-learning tool dedicated to “combating illicit medicines and counterfeit or substandard medical supplies related to COVID‑19 and other pandemics” and the “case studies and risk indicators to identify IPR, health and safety infringing goods related to e-commerce”.

As part of the activities on the third day, 17 rights holders addressed the workshop to share with participants the issues and challenges of trademark protection, focusing in particular on the techniques for detecting the counterfeit goods affecting their rights.

The workshop ended with a practical exercise in the field, conducted at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi City. In carrying out the exercise, participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Vietnam Customs control procedures.

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