ASEAN-Australia Customs Workshop Explores Counterfeiting Risks, Challenges on Infringing Intellectual Property Risk Goods and Rights to Consumer Health and Safety

Published: April 15, 2019

INTA Advisor, Anticounterfeiting, Asia-Pacific Valentina Salmoiraghi spoke at the “ASEAN-Australia Customs Workshop on infringing IPR goods and risks to consumer health and safety,” which was hosted March 21 in Manila by the Embassy of Australia in the Philippines and Australia Border Force (ABF).

Ms. Salmoiraghi highlighted INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) initiatives, recent research, and best practice papers. She also provided an overview of interaction with ASEAN customs administrations. Ms. Salmoiraghi, along with ACC East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee member Regina Reyes-Rara (MarksPro, the Philippines), provided input on cooperation between private and public sectors.

The workshop drew customs officials and law enforcement agencies from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as members of the ABF and ASEAN Secretariat, representatives of the National Police of the Philippines, and Deputy Director of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, Teodoro Pascua. Representatives of industries and external counsels also joined the discussion, sharing their concerns and experience enforcing rights in ASEAN and Australia.

The workshop encompassed discussions and best practice exchanges among ASEAN customs officials and ABF representatives. It also included presentations from various industries and INTA on the dangers of counterfeits, as well as proposals to improve public-private cooperation on anti-illicit trade and anticounterfeiting efforts.

Discussions focused on the impact of counterfeit goods on consumer safety and health in Australia, including challenges and limitations of enforcement. Brand owners also shared their experiences with enforcement in the Philippines and ASEAN.

The Bureau of Customs of the Philippines contributed to the discussion with a presentation on the limitations and challenges that Philippine customs officials experience in detecting and intercepting counterfeit goods. The bureau also spoke about recent seizures, and presented an analysis of trends in the counterfeiting of consumer goods.

Mr. Pascua focused on the impact of counterfeiting and piracy on intellectual property rights enforcement from a broader government perspective. He went on to discuss the impact of counterfeiting on enforcement policy, the role of customs administrations, and limitations in enforcement given the current trends of consumer goods counterfeiting.

The Philippine National Police provided a presentation on the role of online platforms in the movement of counterfeit goods, outlining limitations in online investigations, links with organized crime, and the impact of counterfeit goods on consumer health and safety from a law enforcement perspective. In an interactive session moderated by ABF, brand owners and external counsels discussed their views on the impact of counterfeiting and piracy on legitimate businesses, and brand holder concerns regarding consumer safety and health. Ms. Reyes-Rara shared her insights on the impact of counterfeits and the effect on brand owners, including their negative impact on brand value, reputation, and consumer trust. She also highlighted brand holders’ concerns towards consumer safety.

Key takeaway messages from the workshop included the importance of information sharing and cooperation between brand owners and enforcement agencies, as well as the value of coordination among agencies at the national level and in cross-border collaboration.

INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting

A number of educational sessions at INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting, which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, May 18-22. 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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