From November 30 to December 2, 2016, the European Union Delegation in Mexico held a regional seminar on Intellectual Property rights with customs officers of Mexico and other Central American countries.

The aim of this seminar was to share past experiences and to discuss strategies in connection with the international traffic of counterfeit products in the region. Staff training as well as the current legislation on the topic were discussed.

Experts in illegal traffic, Mr. Christopher Zimmerman, from the World Customs Organization, Mr. Juan Peralta, an international expert in the fight against illegal trafficking and Ms. Irely Aquique, the Director of the Mexican Institute on Intellectual Property, took part in the debates.

In the current state of affairs, it is clear that border protection is an increasingly relevant issue in Latin America, where the traffic of counterfeit products and forgeries is significant, many times surpassing the commercialization of original and official products. This has led to measures being taken by the Customs Authorities of each country.

For example, Panama, has worked with Interpol and the World Customs' Organization to stop the illegal traffic of all kinds of products, such as Operation Pangea, which has already lead to the seizure of over 100.000 illegal medicines.

Given the interest shown in this matter over the last few years, we can expect that more measures will be taken, hopefully multilateral, in order to prevent and discourage the traffic of counterfeit products, and to seize those that may reach customs.


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