Special efforts were put in to crack down on the infringement upon the exclusive rights of Olympic symbols. By the end of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, China Customs processed 130 registration applications submitted by the BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympic Games) for Customs IPR protection to protect the Olympic symbols and seized 230 batches of Olympic symbol infringement goods which involved a value of RMB 3.4 million, ensuring a good protection of the legitimate rights of the International Olympic Committee and the BOCOG and the creation of a favorable external environment for this “exceptional and high-level” Olympic Games. Apart from that, Customs offices throughout the country strengthened the protection on the intellectual property rights owned by the domestic enterprises and have gained positive results.
On June 1, 2009, China Customs launched a special campaign to stop intellectual property infringement via postal delivery in which customs administrations at all levels throughout the country have enhanced the control over the articles delivered by outward mails and express mails, especially those sent to high-risk countries and regions with the inspection rate of some items reaching 100%. By December 31, 2009, when the campaign came to an end, customs administrations have detained 2.6196 million infringing goods valued at RMB 61.945 million.
China Customs has made “giving greater customs protection to domestic self-owned intellectual property rights and supporting the development of the enterprises who established their own brands ”one of the top ten policies it has adopted to boost domestic demand and economic development. It has called on customs administrations at all levels to offer better services and protection in an effort to help domestic businesses cope with the global financial crisis and get access to overseas markets. Answering the call, customs administrations have put in more efforts to make the policies known to the enterprises and provide more convenient IPR registration services, aiming at improving the companies’ IPR protecting ability; meanwhile, customs officers have adopted stricter control measures to stop the flow of infringing goods, better securing enterprises’ rights. In 2009, China Customs has detained 47.071 million goods that have infringed upon the IPR of Chinese enterprises, valuing RMB 40.923 million.
China Customs, following the plan of the State Council, has outlined a specialized action plan for IPR customs enforcement. To make the actions more effective, China Customs put forward 12 concrete directions for the subordinate Customs administrations which include enhancing control and inspection over the inward and outward goods, timely rectifying the management category of the enterprises who had engaged in the infringing goods import and export business, and setting up tip-off hotlines.
There is a rise in the seizure of the inward and outward infringing goods year after year since China Customs started IPR enforcement in September, 1994, with the total amount of goods seized hitting record high in 2009. In that year, 66,000 consignments of infringing commodities were seized by Customs administrations throughout the country. The achievements gained by China Customs were applauded both nationally and internationally. Domestically, China Customs had been selected the “most efficient enforcement agency” five years in a row by The Quality Brands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (QBPC); internationally, it was awarded by the World Customs Organization(WCO) and the Global Anti-counterfeiting Group for its impressive performance.
From October 2010 to June 2011, when a special campaign launched by the State Council to fight against IPR infringements, counterfeiting and inferior goods was underway, the administration had seized 12,000 consignments (76 million infringing goods), ranking the fourth in the 26 steering group member agencies of the campaign. In 2011, the administration detained 18,000 consignments (103 million of infringing commodities) at the borders. Among the goods seized, approximately 20 million were those that had infringed upon the intellectual property rights owned by domestic enterprises (Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan province excluded), making China the top among countries of right holders. China Customs’ arduous efforts on IPR enforcement had greatly encouraged Chinese enterprises’ efforts to go global.
In 2012, in pursuit of the principle of “understanding, observing and enforcing laws”, China Customs improved its legal framework. Against this backdrop, we took measures to protect the intellectual property rights of Chinese enterprises, and to stop the trade of infringing drugs and foods.