Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
World Customs Organization (WCO)

368.   The IPR, health and safety programme of the WCO maintains its decision to protect consumer health and safety, and continues to combat counterfeiting and piracy through a variety of activities. 369.   The WCO's main activity is to raise awareness about customs work in other international organizations as well as promoting capacity building activities for our Member administrations. The capacity building consists of two factors; a training through workshops, education and a training through operational activities. I am going to introduce workshops, operations as the WCO activities for IPR border enforcement. 370.   The WCO delivers various capacity building activities, mainly in the form of legislative training, documents for importation training to find suspected counterfeit goods and identification training to distinguish counterfeits with private sector cooperation. 371.   The WCO also performs diagnostic missions. In the diagnostic missions, the WCO experts visit the Member country and assess the customs administrations capabilities in the domain of combatting counterfeits. The evaluation of diagnostic missions includes both the legal base and practical and procedural arrangements, and leads to a recommendation from the WCO. The detailed list of workshops the WCO implemented after the last report to the TRIPS Council is attached in the annex 1 of the document, IP/C/W/654/Add.2. 372.   The WCO organizes simultaneous enforcement activities with multiple customs administrations. These operations are aimed at knowing the scale of global counterfeiting as well as providing participating customs officers with hands-on experience. Operations, which quantity and qualify the impact of counterfeit activities, can also serve as an excellent opportunity to strengthen customs' enforcement capacity. 373.   Between October 2018 and September 2019, the WCO, in partnership with Interpol and Europol and health authorities, co-organized a large-scale operation, the global operation PANGEA which is against pharmaceutical products sold online. This resulted in 859 arrests worldwide and the seizure of USD 14 million worth of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. It involved customs, police and health authorities from a record 116 countries. The impact of such a substantial level of interventions around the world sends a strong message both to offenders and the general public. 374.   Last, I would like to mention our annual counterfeit and piracy group meeting. The meeting provides a forum for customs, other international organisations and private sectors to exchange information, experience and best practices on combatting counterfeiting and piracy. 375.   I would like to thank the WTO Secretariat for participating in the previous meeting. 376.   At its 16th meeting from 30 September to 1 October 2019, Members explored the challenges posed by the internet and cyber investigations, e-commerce, small consignments, and food and plant varieties related IP rights were discussed. During the meeting, Members also shared their experiences and exchanged practices on fighting counterfeits.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
53.   The Chair recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting in June 2019, to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. Developed-country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members, who had also provided technical cooperation, were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an airgram on 21 June 2019 reminding developed-country Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations, observers to the Council, and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
54.   The Council had received information from the following developed-country Members: Switzerland, Japan, the United States of America, Norway, Australia, and Canada. Their reports were being circulated in document IP/C/W/655 and addenda. The Council had also received an Advance Working Copy of the report from the European Union and some of its member States. It had been made available as a room document RD/IP/35, on documents online, and would also be circulated as an addendum to document IP/C/W/655 once finalized. The following intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the GCC, WHO, WCO, UNCTAD, ARIPO and WIPO. Their reports had been being circulated in document IP/C/W/654 and addenda. Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area was available in document IP/C/W/658. He invited developed-country Members to introduce their reports on technical cooperation activities.
55.   The representatives of Canada; Japan; the European Union; the United States of America; Norway; Australia; Benin, on behalf of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU); and Bangladesh took the floor.
56.   The Chair invited the WTO Secretariat to inform the Council of its recent technical cooperation activities.
57.   The representative of the WTO Secretariat took the floor.
58.   The Chair invited the representatives of intergovernmental organizations to introduce their reports.
59.   The representatives of the Secretariats of the WHO, GCC, WIPO, ARIPO, UNCTAD, and the WCO took the floor.
60.   The Chair noted that most of the valuable information provided by Members and IGO observers had been received only very recently; and, that most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. He suggested that Members have an opportunity, at the next meeting of the Council, to make further comments on the information submitted for the meeting.
61.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/93, IP/C/M/93/Add.1