Customs Workshop on Combatting Counterfeit Goods

March 14, 2018 - March 15, 2018
Customs Workshop on Combatting Counterfeit Goods

On March 14-15, 2018, CLDP, in coordination with U.S. Embassy Baku and Azerbaijan State Customs Committee, held a two-day Workshop on Border Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Baku, Azerbaijan. The workshop utilized the expertise of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), was well as the Azerbaijan Patent and Trademark Office, and private sector representatives in Azerbaijan.  The workshop investigated the impact of counterfeiting and piracy in Azerbaijan and the region, the role of the private sector in the interdiction of counterfeits, the utility of risk analysis and targeting, and the benefits of interagency and interregional coordination.  Examples of US and European best practices were provided, and experts presented on IP infringing goods using the WIPO, WCO and WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) standards.  The workshop was designed to improve the coordination between government agencies, between agencies and the private sector, in order to better interdict counterfeit and pirated goods in Azerbaijan and the region.  Additionally, CLDP organized a panel discussion during the program with US CBP, Azerbaijani private sector and Azerbaijan’ Customs Committee officials to discuss how Azerbaijan Customs could improve its approach to engagement with private sector counterparts and end-use consumers.  

Following the workshop, CLDP met with Azerbaijan’s Head of Customs Control to receive feedback on the workshop and discuss next steps for future CLDP programming.  Azerbaijan Customs expressed an interest in participating in similar CLDP’s workshops on IPR and to developing a work plan with CLDP to address better cross-border management mechanisms. Based on the evaluations and working-level discussions, CLDP identified certain recommendations for the Azerbaijan Customs Committee to better combat counterfeit products, such as increasing the number of registered trademarks in customs data base and working with IPR holders and private sector to increase awareness about border protection.  

Finally, US Embassy Baku and CLDP capitalized on the visit to discuss programs aimed at promoting the rule of law in business.  CLDP met with Azerbaijan Patent and Trademark Office to discuss future programming for patent examiners and regional IPR promotion, as well as the Vice-Rector of ADA University to discuss programming on technology-transfer for local universities.  Post and CLDP also met with Azerbaijan Justice Academy to discuss future workshops to develop capacity of the judiciary, focusing on IPR adjudication that will benefit from an inter-agency approach by including Azerbaijan’s Patent and Trademark and Copyright offices.  Additionally, the Justice Academy requested future CLDP assistance to train private sector lawyers on corporate governance and corporate structuring.  CLDP’s broader focus on a business environment where both Azerbaijani and international businesses have access to effective intellectual property protections, such businesses will more actively engage in commercial and investment activities in Azerbaijan, resulting in broad economic growth. 

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

CLDP in Action

December 12, 2019

On December 12, in Manama, Bahrain, CLDP held a workshop focused on technology transfer for representatives from government, academia, and the startup community. 

Read More about Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center Capacity Building Training