An IP industry association and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have joined forces to combat counterfeiting.
By signing a memorandum of understanding, the WCO and the International Trademark Association (INTA) will provide education and training for customs officials, and exchange information and best practices.
They will also seek to educate the public about the dangers of counterfeiting and its impact on the economy.
The voice of global customs, the WCO, which was interviewed by TBO’s sister publication WIPR last year, speaks for 179 administrations that process 98 percent of world trade.
Although customs officials aim to stop fake goods at international borders, counterfeits still find their way onto the market and their distribution through online channels is a particular problem.
In total, INTA and the WCO claim, the trade of fake goods is set to exceed $650 billion annually, although such figures typically represent the real value of the goods, not the money lost to counterfeiting.
The memorandum was signed today, July 14, by INTA chief executive Etienne Sanz de Acedo and WCO secretary general Kunio Mikuriya.
Sanz de Acedo said the deal formalises the excellent cooperation that has existed between INTA and the WCO for many years.
“This agreement will go a long way to reinforce collaboration between government and the private sector in the battle against counterfeiting across the globe,” he said.
Mikuriya added: “Counterfeiting is a scourge which threatens consumer health and safety and is detrimental to the economic, social and fiscal interests and the security of states.
“To effectively fight against counterfeiting and piracy there is the need for strong partnerships between customs administrations and the private sector; this is why I am very pleased at the signing of this memorandum.”
World Customs Organization; International Trademark Association; INTA; counterfeits; memorandum of understanding