30 Jan 2017 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JAN (NAMPA) Counterfeit goods can rob governments of revenue and infringe on the rights of registered right holders, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Excise Thandi Hambira has said.
Hambira said this during the opening of a four-day regional operational workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement on Monday.
The workshop is held under the theme Combating counterfeiting and piracy, health and safety.
Counterfeit goods can also have a negative bearing on our health, thus customs administrators are charged with enormous responsibilities and accountabilities to safeguard our nation, Hambira said.
She said decisions and actions in this regard must be proactive and calculated to ensure minimal risks and threats that come as a result of increased international trade, whilst at the same time facilitating legitimate trade.
Workshop facilitator from the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Sandra Wens said faking goods or products such as aircraft parts, car parts, medical goods, clothes and shoes carry serious health and safety risks for the country.
People who are producing counterfeit products do not care what is happening to people, but for them to make profit, she said.
Wens noted that the responsibilities of customs officials are therefore to facilitate trade and protect the health and safety of consumers against the trade of fake products.
She added that customs officials are also obligated to protect the nations rights, and enforce the compliance of customs regulations and rules at border posts.
Thus, Wens noted, capacity building in the fight against infringements of IPR appears increasingly necessary for customs administration.
The workshop is composed of two principal elements: a theoretical component which focuses on training customs officers on risk analysis techniques and acquainting them with current best practices; and a practical element that aims to engage the officials in practical activities that simulate their day-to-day working environment with a regional dimension.
The workshop is organised by the Ministry of Finances Directorate of Customs and Excise in collaboration with WCO and Japan Customs.
About 30 customs officers are taking part in this workshop.