Practice for tackling counterfeit goods in maritime supply chains

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The FINANCIAL — Representatives from major global brands and maritime companies have developed a set of best practices for the maritime industry to reduce the volume of counterfeits shipped around the globe through checks on their customers and supply chains.

The recommended best practices were developed as part of the on-going collaboration of signatories to the ‘Declaration of Intent to stop the Maritime transport of counterfeits’ (DOI)—a joint effort between key members of the global shipping industry and brand owners to work together to prevent the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels, according to ICC.

The new recommended best practices paper builds on a previous document on Know Your Customer (KYC), which was launched last March. This new document expands to cover due diligence recommendations for existing customers, as well as further voluntary measure for both brands and maritime operators to improve the integrity of their relationships throughout the maritime supply chain.

The paper was launched at the International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property Crime conference in Dubai on the 26th September, co-hosted by INTERPOL and Dubai Police in partnership with the Ministry of Interior, Underwriters Laboratories, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and the Emirates IP Association.

This event also saw ARKAS, a major maritime operator based in Turkey and operating in 25 countries, sign the international DOI. ARKAS has a fleet of 53 vessels—Turkey’s largest container fleet. By adding their signature to the Declaration, ARKAS will join the work being done by the signatory group to tackle the global issue of maritime transportation of counterfeits.

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The Declaration of Intent and the Recommended Best Practices

The “Declaration of Intent (DOI) to stop the maritime transportation of counterfeit goods” is a voluntary and non-binding statement developed and first signed in November 2016. It acknowledges the “destructive impact” of counterfeits on trade.

The DOI is an outgrowth of a 2015 report by BASCAP, on the “Roles and responsibilities of intermediaries in fighting counterfeiting and piracy in the supply chain”. Leading companies in the maritime industry were among the first intermediaries to start working with BASCAP to find solutions, leading BASCAP to sign the DOI in 2016 algonside 12 brand owners and six maritime companies. New signatories have since joined the initiative and, in April 2018, the United States National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center became the first law enforcement authority to sign the document, establishing their commitment to cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sector.

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