World Customs Organization (WCO) National Workshop on IPR for Bangladesh
Reported by Mr. Masashi GOHBARA
IPR National Center
The WCO organized a National Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for Bangladesh Customs at Sylhet, Bangladesh, from 2 to 6 August 2015. The main objective of the Workshop was to raise awareness among the officers of the Bangladesh National Board of Revenue (NBR) and to help familiarize them with the latest counterfeiting trends. I took part in the Workshop as a Japanese Expert in the field of IPR.
The Workshop was launched with an opening ceremony attended by three Ministers responsible for counterfeiting, health and safety issues (Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Welfare and State Minister of Finance and Planning), demonstrating the government-wide proactive stance and strong political will towards addressing IPR issues.
The Workshop was facilitated by three IPR Experts, namely Ms. Junko Yamamoto from the WCO (Mission Leader), Mr. Sha Jie, WCO Accredited Expert for IPR from China Customs, and me. During the course of the Workshop, the three Experts discussed how IPR infringements could negatively impact socio-economic well-being and how Customs plays an important part in combating such infringements. The Experts and participants also shared the good practices of Japan, China, Bangladesh and other Customs authorities with respect to IPR border measures, leading to a lively and fruitful discussion. Of particular significance was the final day of the Workshop when we welcomed more than 10 Right Holders who gave us a product identification training course. This was the first such event in the history of Bangladesh Customs.
As we are all painfully aware, the issue of counterfeiting and piracy is becoming a big concern. It stifles innovation and obstructs economic development. It also generates financing for criminal organizations and endangers people’s health and safety. Through this Workshop, all the participants were reminded of the importance of Customs’ duty to combat counterfeiting. I have no doubt that the productive outcome of the Workshop will contribute to stronger IPR border measures by Bangladesh Customs. I look forward to hearing their major successes in this field from my new best friends in
As an active donor, Japan Customs will further enhance capacity building activities, which have been carried out for a long time.