New eu customs borders what level of protection the brand owners can expect from the baltic states
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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 2004. The Baltic hub: area for trade and smuggling. Borders with Finland, Russia, Belarus, Poland.

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Romans Baumanis INDICAM Forum Milan, Italy 31 March 2004

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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 2004


The Baltic hub: area for trade and smuggling

  • Borders with Finland, Russia, Belarus, Poland.

  • Ice-free ports and well developed transit infrastructure.

  • 3rd 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!


WWW.CIPR.ORG

romans.baumanis@cipr.org


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