Customs ‘winning the fight’ against counterfeit goods

Hong Kong Customs says it is winning the battle against retailers of counterfeit goods.

As the government department announced a new honour from an Interpol led intellectual property initiative, it revealed it investigated 849 cases of IP rights crimes in 2014, of which 93 per cent involved counterfeit goods.

“IPR protection is one of the core duties of the C&ED. Through effective public-private partnership… in recent years, the number of retail shops selling infringing goods has shrunk in the market and the department has worked closely with the IPR industry and other law enforcement agencies in curbing online IPR infringing activities effectively.”

Those efforts were recognised when the Customs and Excise Department was presented with an award this week for Outstanding Public and Private Partnership in the Fight against Counterfeiting by the International Intellectual Property Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC) operated under Interpol and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

The award was presented in recognition of the C&ED’s “outstanding commitment in the fight against IPR crimes”. It is the second such award received by the department in two years. In June 2014, the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award was given to the C&ED by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group in appreciation of its achievements in combating counterfeiting and piracy.

This year, the C&ED was commended for, in addition to enforcement, the further efforts made by its Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau (IPIB). In view of the increasing complexity of IPR offences, the IPIB has gone one step further over the years in promoting communication and cooperation between the public and private sectors and in advocating training and educational opportunities on IPR.

Noting that cooperation between law enforcement agencies and IPR owners is pivotal in the fight against IPR offences, the C&ED in collaboration with the IPR industry established the Intellectual Property Rights Protection Alliance in 2004.

Through an effective public-private partnership, the C&ED and the IPR industry jointly monitor the piracy and counterfeiting situation in the market, formulate strategic plans, and educate the public on the importance of IPR protection.

The IIPCIC is dedicated to delivering leading edge training for investigators to effectively combat current and emerging threats arising from transnational and organised IP crime, thereby serving the needs of Interpol’s partner organisations and other key international stakeholders.

UL is a global independent body certifying the latest standards, codes and requirements and work with Interpol in the provision of training for regulators and authorities.

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