INTA Participates in ‘Forging an Effective Partnership to Tackle Illicit Trade and Counterfeits’ Workshop in Brunei

Published: April 15, 2019

Valentina Salmoiraghi, INTA Anticounterfeiting Advisor, Asia-Pacific, gave a presentation during the “Forging an Effective Partnership to Tackle Illicit Trade and Counterfeits” workshop, held on February 25, and hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

The one-day workshop was designed to facilitate information sharing between brand owners and the ASEAN Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG). The event included representatives from a wide spectrum of industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, and tobacco, as well as logistic companies and e-commerce platforms.

Participants met to discuss relevant topics with 27 representatives of customs and enforcement agencies representing 9 of the 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam). Representatives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations also participated in the event.

The CECWG presented recent case studies and explained a number of ways to improve public-private cooperation on anti-illicit trade and anticounterfeitingefforts together with business and associations based in the ASEAN Economic Community. The first panel discussion, “Current State of Play-Securing the Global Supply Chain against Illicit Trade and Counterfeit Goods,” included case studies on cross-border illicit trade and counterfeit goods, new trends, methods, platforms for illicit trade and counterfeit goods (for example, e-commerce, product identification, and manufacturer locations), and the risks of illicit trade and counterfeit goods on ASEAN countries (for example, health and safety, social and environmental concerns, tax, customs evasion, and fraud).

The chair of the CECWG, Deputy Director of Customs of Malaysia Sazali Bin Mohamad, gave an introduction on current ASEAN frameworks and mechanisms to address illicit trade and counterfeit goods. He also outlined the group’s priorities and work plan. A breakout group session followed Mr. Bin Mahanad’s talk, focusing on potential areas of private-public partnerships and regional approaches to tackle existing and emerging threats.

Next, Ms. Salmoiraghi moderated a panel titled “Brand Protection and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement” highlighting the tools, procedures, and frameworks needed to protect brands and enforce IPR globally and in ASEAN. Panelists included representatives from Apple, Pfizer, and U.S. ICE. The panel was followed by a private sector presentation by Smiths Detection on technologies to fight illicit trade and counterfeits. In a breakout session, participants discussed what private and public sectors want and require to tackle these challenges. The conversation focused on new technologies that may help fight illicit trade and counterfeits, policies needed for the adoption of these technologies, and what more can be done to educate stakeholders.

INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting

At INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting, which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, May 18-22, a number of educational sessions will focus on topics affecting the Asia-Pacific region. This includes a session covering tactics for protecting brands in the developing ASEAN Region and Australasia. Registrants can also network with colleagues from the region during the Asia-Pacific Reception. Learn more and register here.


For more information on INTA’s Anticounterfeiting activities in Asia-Pacific, please contact INTA Advisor, Anticounterfeiting, Asia-Pacific Valentina Salmoiraghi at [email protected].

INTA’s Asia Pacific Representative Office, based in Singapore, represents the Association’s 789 members across the region. Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the Asia Pacific Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives throughout this region. To learn more about INTA’s activities in the Asia Pacific, please contact INTA Chief Representative Officer Seth Hays at [email protected].

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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