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Record attendance for thought-provoking discussions on better intellectual property (IP) protection

15 noviembre 2021

On 12 November 2021, the WCO held the 8th Rights Holders Consultative Group (RHCG) Meeting in a virtual format, bringing together 61 participants from around the world.  

This record participation in a RHCG meeting bears witness to the importance of cooperation between Customs and rights holders (RHs) in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. Indeed, cooperation with all stakeholders is one of the pillars of the WCO Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Strategy 2020 approved by the 41st Meeting of the Enforcement Committee earlier this year.

The RHCG was established in 2010, the same year as the Customs-Business Partnership, by the Secretary General of the WCO. The aim of the RHCG is to promote the exchange of best practices and useful information between RHs and the WCO Secretariat, especially regarding new trade trends and challenges along with potential areas of cooperation between the public and private sectors to combat IP infringements.

This year’s RHCG meeting focused on the potential for curbing the entry of counterfeit and pirated goods in maritime freight containers and the challenges faced in this respect. Furthermore, the WCO briefed RHs on the Organization’s response to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and shared updates on the work being steered by the WCO IPR Health and Safety Programme in collaboration with Members as well as on WCO tools and instruments relating to maritime transport.

RHs and private-sector stakeholders shared a wide range of experiences and lessons learned regarding pre-arrival information, their compliance strategies and future challenges, together with plans to continue strengthening their partnerships with the WCO and its Members. The UK Border Force also gave an insight into its national container targeting system to detect IP infringements.

On 18 November 2021, the RHs will take part in the joint session of the 18th WCO Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group to discuss the outcomes of the 8th RHCG, familiarize themselves with the new Rights Holders’ Corner on the IPR CENcomm platform and explore emerging technologies in the fight against counterfeit goods.

The WCO, through its IPR, Health and Safety Programme, will continue to intensify its collaboration with the private sector for better IP protection.

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