The close coordination between customs agencies and enterprises is crucial for the protection of intellectual property rights, and the prevention and detection of violations, a senior leader of the Hanoi Department of Customs said.

Deputy Head of the department Van Ba Tin addressed a conference in Hanoi on intellectual property rights protection during the implementation of the Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System/Vietnam Customs Information System (VNACCS/VCIS), which was co-organised by the department and the organisation React, an international anti-counterfeit network.

In order to enhance efficiency, enterprises should provide customs officials with information on their goods before they are imported, he said.

Tin also noted that unfortunately the increase in international trade went hand-in-hand with an increase in fraud and fake products. Intellectual property rights violations were not just harmful for the economy and trade, but also for consumers’ health, he said.

Currently, Vietnam is undergoing a strict process of inspection and supervision of imported and exported goods via VNACCS/VCIS. The role of customs authorities in preventing violations of intellectual property rights was therefore more important than ever before, he stressed.

Meanwhile, Tran Viet Hung from the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department under the Customs Department of Vietnam said that since VNACCS/VCIS was new to Vietnam , customs authorities needed further information on products and trademarks.

Learning from other countries’ experience in protecting intellectual property rights would help Vietnam build an effective inspection processs and control over violations, he added.

During the event, business representatives expressed their opinions on how to manage goods better and protect intellectual property rights.

According to Le Viet Hung of The North Face, the new e-customs system has made it possible for central offices to instruct local customs officials on strengthening inspections on suspected cases.

He also provided information on the differences between real and counterfeit The North Face products to help customs officials distinguish correctly.-VNA