Saudi Arabia Customs organized the 3rd Arab Forum on Anti-Commercial Fraud, Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 3 to 5 March 2013. In parallel, they hosted the 2nd Arab Exhibition on Consumer Awareness of Genuine Products.
The Saudi Minister of Finance, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, inaugurated the Exhibition and opened the Forum on 3 March 2013. WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya delivered an opening speech with other dignitaries.
Referring to the outcome of the WCO MENA Regional Meeting of Directors General of Customs that took place the previous day, the Secretary General explained Customs’ efforts to protect consumers from illicit trade by building a regional Customs network with a focus on training officers and sharing information in Arabic, as well as using the latest technology.
Secretary General Mikuriya commended Saudi Customs on organizing the Forum, which provided an excellent opportunity to extend the Customs partnership with the private sector and other competent authorities. He also appreciated the political support demonstrated by the presence of the Saudi Minister of Finance.
At the Forum, WCO experts and representatives of other relevant international organizations shared their experience and best practice, together with Customs administrations from inside and outside the MENA region, other competent national agencies and the relevant business sectors.
Saudi Customs highlighted its increased seizure records and emphasized the importance of cooperation among stakeholders. The Forum concluded with a number of recommendations designed to enhance the coordinated approach to tackle the global problem of counterfeiting and to protect Intellectual Property Rights.