The USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee (AITC), in coordination with the Business at OECD (BIAC) Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG) and the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT), hosted an informal U.S. focused dialogue entitled, “The challenges of illicit trade in counterfeits for e-commerce: Towards a global, voluntary standard for online marketplaces to counter illicit trade in counterfeits” on July 26 at the OECD Washington Center. According to USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin, the dialogue was robust and the meeting was extremely well attended with representatives joining from both OECD member governments, the European Commission, private sector and several U.S. federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRCenter), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
According to Giblin, to address the risk of illicit trade in counterfeit goods in e-commerce, the OECD TF-CIT, in partnership with AITEG, has been carrying out a comprehensive, multi-phase project to provide additional structure, evidence, analysis and policy recommendations to inform policy-making communities about the continued challenge of counterfeits for e-commerce. Phase 1 of the project, undertaken and completed in 2021, involved a series of joint expert webinars organized between the TF-CIT and the BIAC AITEG that informed the development of a Final Report: E-Commerce Challenges in Illicit Trade in Fakes, Governance Frameworks and Best Practices. Among its conclusions, the report recommends that future work (phases) be focused on “the establishment of industry-led best practices, solutions, including the development of voluntary codes of conduct to enable online-marketplaces and other industry intermediaries and sectors to distinguish themselves with standards of excellence.” Phase 2 of the project is set to begin in Fall 2022, during which the TF-CIT will continue to collect and analyse existing industry best practices to inform the possible future development of a voluntary Code of Conduct for Online Marketplaces to Counter Illicit Trade in Counterfeits.
USCIB members were joined by key U.S. public and private sector stakeholders to discuss this project, take stock of existing U.S. anti-counterfeiting best practices, and identify possible next steps. The TF-CIT Secretariat provided an update on the key findings from the first phase of the project and an overview of how current OECD initiatives serve as a model for this work, especially the recent development of a Certification framework and Code of Conduct for the Free Trade Zones (FTZs). Participants reviewed existing U.S. and EU best practices to counter illicit trade in counterfeits, identified knowledge gaps required to further research, tasks, milestones and deadlines associated with this project.
“Building on the success from our Phase I joint E-Commerce project on the illicit trade, our members are keen to continue to actively participate in this important OECD initiative by sharing, voluntarily, information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces, and that leads towards more effective law enforcement and judicial action against criminals and fraudsters,” said David M. Luna, chair of both USCIB AITC and BIAC AITEG.
“USCIB was pleased to co-host this important informal discussion with BIAC, the OECD TF-CIT, and the OECD Washington Centre,” Luna added. “USCIB is committed to working with BIAC and OECD TF-CIT on critical PPPs, including FTZ implementation, Phase 2 E-Commerce, among others. We believe the FTZ model may serve as a general model for work in other areas, including E-Commerce and illicit trade in counterfeits.”
For more information about the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee and/or the USCIB AIT Fund, please contact Megan Giblin at firstname.lastname@example.org.