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Successful conclusion of joint WCO operation to combat counterfeiting and piracy in the Asia/Pacific region

16 août 2017

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for the Asia/Pacific region, successfully concluded an enforcement operation aimed at combating counterfeiting and piracy in the region.

Code-named "Action against Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Asia/Pacific region" (Action IPR A/P 2), the WCO operation, which took place in February 2017, was the second one in this region focusing on IPR, health and safety, the first of which was held in 2015.

Under the direction of the WCO Secretariat and RILO A/P, the 19-day operation yielded spectacular results, with the interception of a large quantity of illicit products, totalling 1,453,429 pieces, 153,099 kg and 75 litres across 245 cases.

The largest number of cases (40) involved foodstuff, making it the most frequently intercepted counterfeit product, followed by pharmaceutical products (38) and spare parts (22), all of which could have devastating health and safety consequences for the region's citizens.

In terms of the actual volume of products, foodstuff (415,358 pieces + 42,718 kg + 68 litres), mobile phones and accessories (319,857 pieces) and pharmaceutical products (181,415 pieces + 28 kg) were the major categories intercepted during Action IPR A/P 2.

In addition to the above-mentioned intercepted goods, a variety of other products that could endanger the public’s health and safety were intercepted by Customs authorities, including contact lenses, face packs, perfume, soaps and thermos bottles.

The operation greatly benefited from the use of the WCO’s secure Customs enforcement communication tool, known as CENcomm, to exchange operational messages and share critical information provided by right holders.

A “Train-the-Trainer” Workshop and a “Follow-up” Workshop for Action IPR A/P 2 were organized prior to and after the operation, where a number of right holders provided participating Customs authorities with product identification training to familiarize them with their key characteristics.

Operation Action IPR A/P 2 provided Customs authorities with the opportunity to boost the level of IPR enforcement in the Asia/Pacific region, while shedding light on the specific challenges they faced  in combating counterfeiting and piracy.