Piracy outdoes the actions to prevent it, and the State therefore needs to act against this activity which damages both investment and productive and commercial activities, which are necessary to reactivate the economy.
Unfortunately, the number of shipments with pirate merchandise arriving at Mexican customs is increasing.
The losses to manufacturers as a result of illegal copies worldwide are $60 billion annually. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) calculates that each year counterfeit goods are sold for a value of over $500 billion.
Pirate products currently account for 10% of world trade. Accessories, clothes, cosmetics and perfumes account for one third of counterfeit goods worldwide. 35% corresponds to computer programs, and 25% to videos, DVDs and CDs.
Illegal articles generally come from China and Hong Kong, although the label says “Made in USA, Italy, Switzerland, France or Spain”.
Current strategies to detect piracy and other illicit goods include verifying shipments and poorly prepared invoices, reviewing trademarks, suspicious shipments and technological information. There are risk management systems which consist of an intelligent and reliable analysis of variables such as country of origin, type of good, importer and value. A high level of measured risk will lead to a revision.
Furthermore, the exchange of intelligence and joint investigations has also led to significant decommissioning of illicit goods as the original manufacturers provide specific information which makes it possible to detect counterfeiting.
The truth is that we have been overrun, as the Customs Act does not have wide and transparent powers to prevent these crimes. In December 2009, the Senate of the Republic approved a Project of Reforms to the Customs Act. It provides for the use of a voluntary electronic registration system open to those proprietors who wish to protect their rights in Mexico with the aim of having a Register for Import Trademarks. It is worth pointing out that it is voluntary for businesses to be included on the register, which is a list that contains the trademark designation: name, address, telephone number, e-mail of the proprietor or, as the case may be, the trademarks legal representative, the registration number, the design, the products said trademark applies to, the term and the authorized importers and/or distributors. When the information about the imported goods does not coincide with the Register, the customs authorities will suspend dispatching and will retain the goods for up to 5 working days. They will then draw up a detailed report with witnesses and provide information to the proprietor of the trademark so that it may initiate the corresponding actions.
The reform to the Customs Act clarifies that if there is no order from the legal authorities within a period of five days, the goods will be released.
It indicates that for transitory articles, the authorities will have 90 days to prepare the regulation and 180 days to make up the register.
Although this measure will not end piracy, it will help to reduce it given that introducing these registers has produced positive results in European Union countries, and in the United States, Argentina and Peru. We hope that this project moves forward and will soon be approved by the Chamber of Deputies.