Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy Held in Serbia
On the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Day on April 27, a conference was held in Belgrade, Serbia, organized by Serbia’s Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and the European Union Delegation to Serbia. The conference was also attended by the representatives of the Serbian Customs Administration.
The conference is part of the EU-funded Twinning project “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” with a budget of EUR 1.3 million (USD 1.5 million) which aims to support the Serbian government with capacity building in this area.
The conference participants presented the results of the study that aimed to assess the level of counterfeiting and piracy in Serbia, analyze developments and trends, identify links between counterfeiting and transnational organized crime and assess the effects on stakeholders.
In 2014, the Customs Administration detained 672,168 items suspected of infringing intellectual property rights, including 162,347 mobile phone parts and 106,433 toys.
Last year, the Market Inspectorate seized 222,461 fake products, including 173,277 bottles of alcohol and 5,030 body-care products. These products represent an obvious threat to the health and safety of consumers.
Pesticide industry representatives highlighted that on one occasion 500-600 kilograms of counterfeit pesticides arrived on the Serbian market and that counterfeit pesticides pose a serious threat to consumers as unregulated and often toxic chemicals enter the food chain.
Certain industry sectors provided information on the financial consequences of counterfeiting and piracy. Business Software Alliance estimated that 69 percent of the software installed on computers in Serbia is unauthorized and that the value of pirated software is EUR 64 million (USD 70 million).
The EU has also recently donated EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.7 million) for the purchase of three machines for the destruction of counterfeit goods, and financially supported the campaign “Counterfeits cost more, buy the originals!” which aims to raise awareness among Serbian consumers about the risks of purchasing counterfeit products.
Prepared by: Jelena Jankovic
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Source: Serbian Customs website
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