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Customs crack down on infringing exports

Zhang Zhao
Updated: Aug 31,2017 9:12 AM     China Daily

Nationwide campaign launches, aiming to tackle fraudulent goods, to support companies selling goods overseas

Customs authorities across China will start a three-month special campaign, code-named Longteng, on Sep 1 to protect the intellectual property rights of exporting Chinese companies.

Enforcement will focus on small home appliances, electronics, engineering equipment, daily commodities and local specialties that are exported to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Yang Zongren, head of the policy and regulation department at the General Administration of Customs, said the operation will help to nurture those Chinese companies with IP advantages in their respective exported goods.

“Customs offices nationwide will concentrate their forces to strike the import and export companies that infringe IP rights, and will facilitate an environment of order and fair play for those companies seeking global development,” he said at a recent meeting in Qingdao, Shandong province, briefing the campaign to about 150 local companies.

The General Administration of Customs listed 156 key companies in the campaign, which own well-known trademarks or core patents in their industries, or have self-developed products accounting for at least 10 percent of their total export volume.

The companies include high-tech giants, such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE, and those in traditional businesses, such as traditional Chinese medicine-maker Beijing Tongrentang Group and vinegar-maker Jiangsu Hengshun Group.

Among them, 28 are based in Shandong, accounting for 18 percent of the total number.

Customs offices will analyze those companies’ import and export data to find elements of risk and to create solutions, Yang said.

Authorities in the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area will establish regional cooperation and quick response mechanisms.

Yang said that by carrying out the campaign they want to encourage the companies to resort to customs protection actively.

Chinese companies have so far registered 18,000 intellectual properties at the General Administration of Customs, accounting for 55 percent of total registrations.

Since 2013, China’s customs authorities have seized nearly 110,000 batches of goods involving IP infringement in the foreign trade segment, including 6,721 batches in the first six months of this year. The total illegal value involved amounted to more than 1.5 billion yuan ($226 million).

More than 2,100 rights owners from 62 countries and regions have been protected, Yang said.

The Chinese and United States customs offices conducted a monthlong joint operation in April last year, focusing on consumer electronics, auto parts, food, drugs and sportswear via post delivery. It is aimed at enhancing the enforcement partnership between the two countries in an attempt at new cooperation models.

In November and December last year, the General Administration of Customs launched a campaign targeting exported self-balancing scooters. During the campaign, customs offices nationwide seized more than 12,000 IP rights-violating scooters in 28 batches, with a total value of nearly 13 million yuan.