National Seminar for Bangladesh Customs: Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Bangladesh and the World Customs Organization (WCO) held a WCO National Seminar for Bangladesh Customs on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, in Sri Mangal, Moualvi Bazar, Bangladesh on 2-6 August 2015. The National Seminar aimed to familiarize officials of Bangladesh Customs, other border agencies, and members of Bangladesh's private sector with global trends and threats in counterfeiting and piracy, and equip them with the necessary legal framework covering intellectual property rights (IPR) at borders.
Workshop outcomes included:
- Discussion of global efforts taken to mitigate counterfeiting and piracy, including: WCO’s role and its capacity-building activities, enforcement measures against counterfeiting and piracy, and legal framework of IPR border management;
- Discussion of Customs' role in IPR management, including risk-based targeting in intercepting cargo and the importance of seizing counterfeit goods;
- Discussion of the efficiency and practicality of establishing a dedicated IPR office in Customs;
- Discussion of the importance of efficient IPR-related information exchange, fostering a cooperative relationship with the private sector, conducting education and awareness raising campaigns, and working in cooperation with international agencies such as the WCO, the International Criminal Police Organization, and European Police Office; and
- Demonstration of mobile communication and detection tools for Customs officers.
Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister, Ministry of Finance; Mr. Syed Mohsin Ali, Minister, Ministry of Social Welfare; and Mr. M.A. Mannan, Minister, Ministry of Finance and Planning, inaugurated the opening session chaired by Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman, Secretary, Internal Resources Division and Chairman of NBR. In his speech, Finance Minister Muhith emphasized the adverse impact of counterfeit and pirated goods on the economy and the role of border officials in protecting society's well-being through implementing measures against counterfeiting and piracy. He also confirmed Government support for these measures.
36 key Customs and border officials from NBR attended the 5-day National Seminar facilitated by WCO Experts.
This Workshop was jointly sponsored by the Customs Cooperation Fund/Japan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB supported the National Seminar under its technical assistance to Bangladesh, Supporting Bangladesh's Participation in the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. This technical assistance aims to create a modern Customs administration for Bangladesh through improved border clearance mechanisms and facilitation of trade information access for traders, and seeks to better align Bangladesh Customs procedures and practice with internationally accepted standards.