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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.

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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:

1 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

2 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.

3 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.

4 IPR Protection status TRIPS compliance achieved on paper Basic IPR literacy achieved through bilateral, multilateral and private sector training programs for Customs and police.

5 IPR Protection status Significant personnel changes in Customs and police reduce effectiveness of the trainings. Lack of financial and human resources, insufficient technical means.

6 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

7 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

8 Latvia The Government shows selective awareness of the counterfeiting problem!

9 Lithuania Possibility for ex-officio actions exists; seldom used: 4 cases in Applications accepted: ; ; , fee €/ 2 years. Information gathering: CEN form is not used; some limited information exchange exists between GOL agencies. CIPR-REACT project soon operational.

10 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.

11 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!

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