Customs uncovers 334m IPR infringement items in 2007

Updated: 2008-04-28 22:22

BEIJING - Chinese customs authorities uncovered 334 million items involving intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement worth 439 million yuan (US$62.71 million) in 2007, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said in a white paper on Monday.

The number and value of items rose 83 percent and 116 percent respectively year-on-year, according to the White Paper of Chinese Customs IPR Protection 2007.

According to the white paper, counterfeit goods seized by the GAC were primarily clothes, shoes, bags and cigarettes, and 99.8 percent of these fake goods were seized en route to export markets.

Gong Zheng, deputy director of the GAC, told a press conference that China still faced mounting challenges on IPR protection in line with its booming foreign trade.

China's total trade volume was 2.17 trillion yuan in 2007 and more than 49 million customs claims were submitted. With increasing workloads, many customs offices had to remain open 24 hours a day, Gong said.

IPR violators had also developed new techniques to evade the law, which had increased the difficulty of customs oversight, he said. Inadequate information provided by exporters and importers also undermined the efficiency of investigations, Gong said.

Some exporters had a low awareness of IPR issues and took advantage of other's technologies to enter overseas markets, he noted. Those enterprises should rely on innovation to improve their competitiveness, he said.

Despite these challenges, China has made tremendous progress in IPR protection and more IPR owners had sought protection from the GAC. The countries involved were mainly the United States, Japan, France, China, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands.

In 2007, the GAC received 2,788 written applications for IPR protection records, compared with 1,884 applications in 2006, said the white paper.

Gong said that customs officials would continue to strengthen monitoring, enforcement and training to step up IPR protection.

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