Presentation on theme: "New EU Customs Borders: what level of protection the brand owners can expect from the Baltic states? Romans Baumanis INDICAM Forum Milan, Italy 31 March."— Presentation transcript:
New EU Customs Borders: what level of protection the brand owners can expect from the Baltic states? Romans Baumanis INDICAM Forum Milan, Italy 31 March 2004
The Baltic hub: area for trade and smuggling Borders with Finland, Russia, Belarus, Poland. Ice-free ports and well developed transit infrastructure. 3 rd year in the row on the USTR 301 watch list. Track record of large smuggling cases.
The Baltic hub: area for trade and smuggling Current seizures Multi million cigarette smuggling cases have been reported, involving terrorist organizations. Several manufacturing facilities have been discovered in Latvia.
IPR Protection status TRIPS compliance achieved on paper Basic IPR literacy achieved through bilateral, multilateral and private sector training programs for Customs and police.
IPR Protection status Significant personnel changes in Customs and police reduce effectiveness of the trainings. Lack of financial and human resources, insufficient technical means.
IPR Protection status Judiciary system is slow to understand and implement IPR laws IP violations still perceived as victimless crime by the Governments Global scale of counterfeiting: additional challenge for the EU
Latvia Possibility for ex-officio actions exists; Customs start using it. Customs applications: currently around 69, 4 in electronic form, no fee. IPR infringement data collection and sharing: virtually non-existent among Latvian agencies nor at the pan-Baltic level CIPR-REACT joint venture as of Feb. 2004
Latvia The Government shows selective awareness of the counterfeiting problem!
Lithuania Possibility for ex-officio actions exists; seldom used: 4 cases in 2003. Applications accepted: 2001- 9; 2002 - 24; 2003 - 30, fee - 150 €/ 2 years. Information gathering: CEN form is not used; some limited information exchange exists between GOL agencies. CIPR-REACT project soon operational.
Estonia Possibility for ex-officio actions exists; seldom used. New Directive will give additional powers. Currently 68 applications; no fee; kept as hard copies - no electronic submission form. Data gathering: CEN form is not used; same case as in Latvia and Lithuania.
What can be done to improve IPR protection? Use diplomatic channels to underscore importance of IPR protection. Develop cooperation with the Governments - show concern and support. Share information to achieve better enforcement. Assist with enforcement - REACT type of cooperation. Build brand protection capacity within the organization. Develop trust by consistent actions!