Friday, February 01, 2008

China, EU Expanding Anti-Piracy Efforts

China, EU Expanding Anti-Piracy Efforts
(Business Week)

Europe and China will create a network to share information among their ports as they fight product counterfeiting that poses a growing threat to public safety, a European Union official said Monday.

European and Chinese officials are working on a plan to fight the trade in fake medications, toys, food and auto parts, said Laszlo Kovacs, the European Commission member in charge of customs.

"It is clear that counterfeiting is a serious threat to the safety, the health and even the life of our citizens," Kovacs said after meeting with Chinese customs officials.

The plan will include an "intelligence network" linking Chinese and European ports, Kovacs said. He declined to give details of the network or other expected elements of the plan.

China is the biggest source of counterfeit goods seized at European ports, Kovacs said. Recent data suggest China's share of seized goods is falling, but it was too early to know whether the total amount in European markets was falling, he said.

The two sides also discussed expanding a two-year-old pilot program that tracks cargo between a port in southern China and two in Europe in hopes of improving security, Kovacs said.

He said the European Union plans to station an anti-counterfeiting official in Beijing to work full-time with Chinese authorities.

China is a leading source of illegally copied goods ranging from music and movies to sporting goods and medicines. Industry groups say the scale of offenses appears to be growing despite stepped up Chinese penalties and repeated crackdowns.

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