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    Regional IP protection event hosted by HK Customs promotes Asian exchanges


    By WANG ZHAN | chinadaily.com.cn |


    Commissioner of Customs and Excise Louise Ho Pui-shan addresses the Regional High-Level Conference on IP Protection. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

    The Regional High-Level Conference on IP Protection, held by Hong Kong Customs from March 12-14, achieved consensuses in key aspects and facilitated exchanges with the mainland and other Asian customs regions, according to local officials.

    About 200 participants reached understandings in three major aspects of enforcement, engagement and education, said Deputy Commissioner (Control and Enforcement) of Customs and Excise Mark Woo Wai-kwan.

    Hong Kong Customs also held meetings with Indian and the Philippines Customs, as well as Chinese mainland officials during the event, according to Simon Lee from the Hong Kong Customs.

    This is the first time that Hong Kong Customs has hosted a large-scale regional conference on IP protection. The opening ceremony was officiated by Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah, and Commissioner of Customs and Excise Louise Ho Pui-shan.

    The event highlighted cooperation mechanisms for IP protection and law enforcement in the Asia-Pacific region, Woo said. The focus was collaboration with relevant international organizations such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), Interpol, and Europol, intelligence sharing and joint programs with the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the WCO Asia Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building.

    Regional customs offices and related organizations are also keen to strengthen information exchanges, training, and prosecution to deter IP violations and crack down on crimes through collaboration with different stakeholders, further raise public awareness about the economic, health and safety issues caused by infringement activities, and organize activities regularly to encourage young people to respect IP.

    Commissioner Ho exchanged views on combating money laundering and cross-boundary trafficking of wildlife with Indian Customs counterparts, aiming to enhance collaboration and facilitate a more comprehensive intelligence information exchange, Woo said.

    Her meeting with officials of the Customs administration of the Philippines focused on strengthening contact and communication regarding IP and combating transnational drug trafficking issues to bring about closer cooperation.

    Ho also met with IP officials from Guangzhou and other areas. Hong Kong Customs signed a memorandum of understanding on IP protection co-operation with the Quality Brands Protection Committee of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment on March 14.

    "Hong Kong Customs will gain a better understanding of the market information on the mainland's IP industry, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of combating cross-border infringement," Woo said.

    Hong Kong, the mainland and Macao can help enterprises and brand owners to deepen mutual understanding of each other's trademark registration system and filing procedures and share information on IP recordation and protection.

    Looking ahead, Ho told the meeting, Hong Kong Customs together with law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders from different regions will continue to work closely and exchange information to enhance the effectiveness in combating IP infringement crimes.