Maritime Community Clamps Down on Shipping of Counterfeit Goods

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Representatives of the maritime industry have developed a set of best practices 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 members of the global shipping industry and brand owners to work together to prevent the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels.

The new recommended best practices paper builds on a previous document on Know Your Customer (KYC), which was launched in March at the TPM Maritime logistics conference in Long Beach, California.

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 launch of the KYC, Due Diligence and Supply Chain Integrity Best Practices paper is one more concrete example of the successful collaboration between brand owners, vessel operators and freight forwarders who have come together under the DOI,” says Sophie Peresson, Director of ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP).

“We all have our own perspectives and experiences but we needed to create something that works well for all of us—voluntary best practices aimed at helping companies prevent the maritime shipment of counterfeits and which fit into companies’ supply chain procedures.”

The paper was launched at the International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property Crime conference in Dubai on 26 September.

The DOI is a voluntary and non-binding statement developed and first signed in November 2016. It acknowledges the “destructive impact” of counterfeits on international trade.

The Principles of the Declaration include a zero-tolerance policy towards counterfeiting, as well as a commitment to strict supply chain controls, risk profiling and due diligence checks to ensure maritime operators are not inadvertently co-operating with those involved with counterfeiting.

During the event, Turkish maritime company ARKAS, which has a fleet of over 53 ships, joined as signatory of the DoI. Other signatories of the declaration already include industry majors such as Maersk, MSC, and CMA CGM.

A report by Frontier Economics, commissioned by BASCAP and the International Trademark Association, predicts the total annual cost of counterfeiting and digital piracy at between USD 923 billion—USD 1.13 trillion and predicts this could double by 2022 if current trends continue.

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