National IPR Seminar in Egypt
Capacity Building as a means to fight infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is increasingly important to help Customs administrations find the right balance between facilitating trade and protecting the health and safety of consumers against potentially dangerous counterfeit products. As a part of its on-going fight to combat the trade of illicit goods, the WCO regularly organizes anti-counterfeiting and piracy trainings by our IPR Technical and Operational experts which consist in the dissemination of current best practices and, more specifically, modern control methods and tools.
A four day national Seminar on IPR, Health and Safety was recently conducted in Alexandria, Egypt from 9-12 February, under the sponsorship of the Customs Cooperation Fund/Japan. Around 30 Customs officers involved in risk analysis and in physical cargo inspections from Egyptian Customs took part in the seminar.
All of the WCO seminars are composed of both a theoretical component based on training Customs officers on risk analysis techniques as well as an essential practical component to engage them in field activities. The seminar also largely focused on the WCO's online anti-counterfeiting tool IPM and how Customs officers can use this tool, now available on mobile devices, to obtain real-time information on genuine products – such as routes, packaging, photos, right holder contact details – required to make an informed decision on a suspicious product.
On the first day, dedicated to the theoretical part, presentations were given on legislation and best practices worldwide, and the head of the Customs Training Institute presented the current status of IPR enforcement in Egypt. The second day was dedicated to a workshop led by rights holders and the advantages of the IPM tool were highlighted. The third day was earmarked for Risk Assessment techniques and exercises. The last day an operational exercise was conducted at the port.