APEC Trade Ministers have endorsed a series of Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy measures including guidelines for authorities to seize and destroy pirated goods and support to increase the capacity of economies to deal with counterfeiting.
The APEC Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiative is part of efforts intended to strengthen intellectual property protection and overcome damage caused to regional innovation and commercial competitiveness, especially for small businesses.
Korea's Trade Minister, Mr Hyun Chong Kim, noted the importance of the new measures in his statement at the conclusion of the Trade Ministers' Meeting.
"We reaffirmed the important contribution of effective intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement in promoting investment, spurring innovation and driving economic growth, and reiterated the need to build on APEC work already underway in this area," Mr Kim confirmed in the Chair's statement.
"We agreed on the urgent need to take concrete steps to reduce piracy, trade in counterfeit goods and online piracy, as well as to increase cooperation and capacity building.
"We endorsed the APEC Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiative and instructed officials to intensify their work in the coming months on the proposals set forth in the initiative and to deliver concrete results by the November APEC Ministerial Meeting."
The APEC Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiative includes a range of measures that will be implemented in APEC Member Economies. The package includes four areas in which specific actions are outlined:
Reduce Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods - Economies aim to reduce counterfeit and pirated goods trade and combat transnational networks that produce and distribute these items. Actions include establishing guidelines for authorities to inspect, suspend, seize and destroy goods and equipment used in counterfeit and pirated goods trade.
Reduce Online Piracy - Appropriate legal regimes and enforcement systems will be enacted to curtail online piracy and to undermine the online trade in counterfeit goods. This includes the development of guidelines to prevent Internet sales of counterfeit goods.
Increase Cooperation to Stop Piracy and Counterfeiting - Operational contact and the sharing of information between customs and law enforcement agencies will be increased to combat counterfeiting and piracy networks.
Increase Capacity Building to Strengthen Anti-Counterfeit and Piracy Enforcement - Member Economies' ability to develop and manage effective anti-counterfeiting and piracy enforcement systems will be increased through education and training throughout the region.
As part of the package APEC Senior Officials will seek input from the private sector and other stakeholders including the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).