International developments to enhance border measures and cooperation
With the increased awareness of the growing number of counterfeit and pirated goods crossing borders, policy makers around the globe have begun to step up their efforts to establish more effective ways of dealing with unlawful IP activities.
The Customs Organization (WCO) Enforcement Committee adopted, in February 2003, new model provisions to help countries in drafting or revising their existing Customs legislation. These model provisions go beyond the minimum standards required under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). Following a request by the WCO, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provided extensive comments on this set of model provisions. A number of the suggestions are reflected in the latest version of revised model provisions of May 19, 2004.
In addition, at the national and regional level, a tendency of new legislative processes aimed at improving the effectiveness of customs controls for IP rights can be noticed. For instance, in 2003, the EU adopted a comprehensive “Regulation concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain IP rights, and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights”. Replacing the existing Regulation (EC) 3295/94, the new instrument proposes to extend the scope of application to further intellectual property rights, make the rules more accessible for right holders, and provide a more effective legal instrument against IP fraud. The new Regulation has entered into force on July 1, 2004.