Webinar on ‘Protecting your Brand on E-Commerce Platforms – Battling the Odds Amid COVID-19 Pandemic’
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the dangers posed by illicit trade. It calls for greater focus on addressing the growing hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling which are severely impacting the economy and endangering lives of consumers. With the current unpredictable situation, along with the commercial predicament, the need for protecting consumers and brand identities have become more important than ever before.
In the present scenario, with the physical brand protection efforts of industry, enforcement officials and government authorities minimized, winning back control of the online space, which could be hijacked by counterfeiters, has become increasingly important. With a view to deliberate on this issue, FICCI CASCADE organized a Webinar on ‘Protecting your Brand on E-Commerce Platforms: Battling the Odds Amid COVID-19 Pandemic’ on April 24, 2020.
The webinar had representatives from Amazon and over 70 industry delegates from India and across the globe participating in the deliberations. The focus was on discussing anti-counterfeiting strategies that would not only protect brands and consumers, but also deter illicit operators taking advantage of the pandemic.
Mr. Arun Chawla, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI, while welcoming the participants said that “E-commerce in India has seen a phenomenal growth over the years. From USD 39 billion in 2017, it is projected to rise to USD 200 billion by 2026. While the e-commerce services will grow, this growth will come with a set of challenges. The coronavirus epidemic has presented fresh challenges for the Indian economy, causing severe disruptive impact on both demand and supply side elements. Given the spike in consumer demand and the corresponding shortage of supplies from legitimate sources, it is imperative that businesses take steps to protect consumers from the proliferation of scammers and infringers that seek to take advantage of the crisis”.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, in his address, highlighted that “while the sale of counterfeit and smuggled goods in the physical world is rampant and causing enough grief to industry, consumers and government, the size of illicit trade is estimated to be 3.3% of the global trade. The online counterfeiting ecosystem offers distinctive challenges that require a unique online approach”. Mr. Jha also indicated that criminals were seizing on the opportunity by taking advantage of the high demand for products and it was imperative that enforcement authorities were taking preventive initiatives.
The webinar was also addressed by Mr. Amaresh Kumar, Additional Commissioner, GST Policy, who stated that “the measures like the waiver of penalty, late fee and interest on GST will help the industry to tide through this tough phase”. He also invited suggestions from industry members on issues relating to GST and areas that required policy interventions.
Ms. Kaleigh Miller, Global Brand Relations Lead, Amazon, gave an overview of Amazon’s brand protection efforts globally. She informed that over 2.5 million bad-actor accounts have been stopped before they published a single listing on the site, highlighting the many measures taken by Amazon to detect the potential infringements and related remedial actions. She also highlighted Amazon’s sophisticated real time tools, like productive analytics, adaptive machine learning and technology that help review data sources and identify signals, identify inauthentic goods and take immediate action.
An overview of Amazon’s brand protection tools and efforts in India was given by Mr. Sumit Kapoor, Global Brand Relations Manager, Amazon, focusing on their brand registry program which provides powerful search and report tools. “It simplifies cases of potential infringement and provides a simple and guided workflow of submitting a report of infringement. It also helps to build the brand and business with promotional tools and customer analytics”, said Mr. Kapoor.
The concern today was that trade in illicit products, aided by the Covid-19 crisis, was enriching criminal groups and endangering health, while also draining away vital industry and tax revenues. The webinar saw participation of leading industries such as ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, Britannia, Puma, Johnsons & Johnsons, Dabur, Beiersdorf, Mars, HP, Pernod Richard, Diageo, Underwriters Laboratories, among others including leading law firms. Some key concerns flagged by the representatives from these major players were:
• Need for a mechanism to monitor parallel imports which are not meant for sale in India.
• Tools to monitor counterfeit products sold with non-refundable caveats and consumers from being duped due to low pricing point and higher discounts.
• Availability of automated brand protection tools to remove duplicates/fakes.
• Mechanism to ensure that required regulations are met before sellers put products on the portal.
• Time taken between listing of a merchant and identification of bad actors.
Most participants agreed that brands were struggling in the diminishing market, with cheap counterfeits creating new listings on online marketplaces. They conclusively agreed on the need for a technology-enabled system to help counter illicit operations, besides an effective and strengthened deterrence actions against perpetrators of such criminal activities.Lear More
Consumer Meet and Candle Light Congregation on Unite Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling- A Step towards Nation Building, Jaipur
Illicit trade decelerates nation’s progress, be it economic, social, environmental, besides impacting the safety and security of the country and its people. It is estimated that the global illicit trade is now of the size of about US $3 trillion. In order to address the menace of illicit trade, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a consumer meet and candle light congregation on “Unite Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling- A Step towards Nation Building” in Jaipur on 14 February 2020.
Over 150 consumers with candles in their hands and banners stating, ‘Buy Make in India’, ‘Say no to Counterfeits’ and ‘Say No to Smuggled Goods’ partook in this initiative to highlight the need to fight the menace. The participants pledged against using fake and smuggled products in the larger interest of the nation’s economy. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vinod Shankar Dave, Former Judge, Rajasthan High Court, in his special address at the consumer meet, emphasized that the youth had to take the responsibility of acting as torch bearers in spreading the message of the perils of counterfeiting and smuggling. He further added that as responsible citizens, everyone must remember their fundamental duties towards making the country safe and prosperous.
According to Dr. K. L. Jain, Honorary Secretary General, Rajasthan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, strict penal provisions coupled with strong enforcement is the need of the hour which will create the much-needed deterrence to stop such offences.
Dr. Anant Sharma, National President, Consumers Confederation of India was of the view that the fight against illicit trade was for the nation, its progress and its future. As consumers it is our duty to stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and the industry in making India a fake and smuggled-free market. It culminated with a common consensus to strengthen the voice against illicit trade with increased awareness, collaboration and collective actions of all stakeholders.Lear More
Seminar on Containing Counterfeiting and Smuggling – A Step Towards Prosperous Nation Building, Jaipur
13/02/2020 | Jaipur
India, due to its massive strides in the world economic arena, has become a favourite of the smugglers and counterfeiters, who indulge in illegal economic activities with no concern other than making fast profit at any cost. Illicit trade decelerates a nation’s progress, be it economic, social, environmental, besides impacting the safety and security of the country and its people. It is estimated that the global illicit trade is now of the size of about US $3 trillion.
In order to address the menace of illicit trade, which is now a major worldwide concern, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a seminar to contain the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling in Jaipur on 13 February 2020, in keeping with its nationwide awareness campaign on the issue. The focus of the seminar was to provide stakeholders with the tools, information and the capacity needed to tackle the rising concern on illicit trade.
“Counterfeiting and smuggling related crimes have increased manifold in the global market resulting in revenue loss to government and businesses besides adversely impacting the health and safety of the consumers”, observed Mr. Ramesh Chand Meena, Hon’ble Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Government of Rajasthan, chief guest at the seminar. Extending his support for the FICCI initiative, he looked forward to working in close collaboration with CASCADE to address this issue.
Dr. K L Jain, Member, FICCI Rajasthan State Council and Honorary Secretary General, Rajasthan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), while welcoming the participants, highlighted that counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacted industries, consumers, government and economies as a whole. Illicit trade has a serious decelerating effect on economic growth which must be substantially curbed. Among other steps, consumers should be made aware of the importance of taking a bill on every purchase they make to help make India a tax complaint nation and thus contribute to progressive nation building.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs, while speaking on the adverse socio-economic impact that illicit trade had highlighted the that overall global losses due to counterfeiting and piracy stood at Rs. 57.23 lakh crore in 2013 and was expected to go up to Rs. 119.7 lakh crore by 2022. Mr. N K Jain, Member, FICCI Rajasthan State Council & President of the Employers Association of Rajasthan, delivered the vote of thanks.
The focus of discussion during the seminar was on the importance of increased awareness about the hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling, and the need for effective enforcement to enhance India’s economic development. During the panel discussions, there were extensive deliberations on the role of enforcement agencies, government and industry in combatting illicit trading activities. Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, while presiding the panel discussions, stressed on the need to have a multi-disciplinary approach to encounter this challenge. Society at large, trade and industry, enforcement agencies and policy makers need to come together to fight this concern. He said that the problem was two-fold: counterfeiting and smuggling,and needed to be dealt with through collaborative, effective and stern actions. Joining him on the panel were Mr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Principal Commissioner of Custom, Jaipur, Mr. Honhar Singh Meena, Additional Director, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Jaipur Regional Unit, Mr. G D Bansal, Vice Chairman, The Bar Council of Rajasthan, Mr. Vishnu Peri, Legal Consultant – Central Region, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and Mr. Tanmay Jaswal, Founder & Director, Chkfake Brand Protection Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Enforcement officers underlined that counterfeiting and smuggling were attractive propositions due to three factors: easy to emulate, low investments and lack of technical expertise to identify those engaged in such malpractices. They also observed that among various products, cigarettes particularly were mostly prone to smuggling as it was a low-risk, high-reward criminal activity. The panellists stressed on the need to implement existing provisions of laws and simultaneously move towards a more technology-enabled system to counter such illegal operations. They agreed that a strong deterrence in the form of impeccable laws was needed to be put in place to curb the illicit trade menace.Lear More
Seminar on Containing Counterfeiting and Smuggling -A Step Towards Prosperous Nation Building, Chennai
22/01/2020 | Chennai
In the modern economic era, with technological advancements accelerating international trade and fragmentation of global supply chains, there is the need to maintain a right balance between trade facilitation and law enforcement. Significantly, as a result of these developments, the geographic scope, capacity and range of illegally traded goods have increased manifold over the years. Illicit trade, including counterfeiting and smuggling, now increasingly threaten economies, communities and the society as a whole. According to the World Economic Forum, economic leakages from illicit trade creates an annual drain on the global economy of US$2.2 trillion, which is nearly 3% of the world’s economy. The scale of counterfeiting and smuggling is huge, and 10% of the global GDP is siphoned off by illicit trade.
FICCI CASCADE has been working relentlessly to create awareness and sensitize all concerned about the harmful impact of counterfeiting, smuggling and piracy. In order to discuss this growing menace, FICCI CASCADE organised a seminar on “Containing Counterfeiting and Smuggling: A Step Towards Prosperous Nation Building” on 22nd January 2020 in Chennai. Ms. V Kavitha Dutt, Chairperson, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council & JMD, The KCP Ltd. in her welcome address highlighted that counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacted industries, consumers, government and economy. “Illicit trade has a serious decelerating effect on growth which must be curbed substantially. Consumers must be emphasized on taking a bill on every purchase for making India a tax complaint nation and encouraging citizens to be a part of progressive nation building,” she added.
Hon’ble Dr. Justice S. Tamilvanan, President, Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes, was the chief guest at the seminar. “As per Consumer Protection Act 1986, consumer rights should be protected. Smuggling and counterfeiting is affecting not only the revenue of the government but is also adversely impacting commerce and industry and the health and safety of the people. This national problem can be reduced through proper laws and stringent actions, which in turn will lead to a prosperous nation building. Effective enforcement, special courts and tribunals, proper development and awareness are the pillars to curb this menace”, said Hon’ble Justice.
Dr. Prateep V. Philip, IPS, DGP Civil Supplies (CID), Government of Tamil Nadu, in his special address, said that India had a burgeoning market in counterfeit and smuggled goods ranging from electronics to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, apparels, cigarettes, footwear etc. “The increasing internet penetration of over 302 million internet users makes India the second largest online user base. Owning to the shift in customers from offline purchases to online purchases, a multi-pronged and multi layered approach across all supply chain is required to establish a universal and uniform electronic pedigree. Illicit trade is operated by criminal gangs and terrorist groups which emphasizes the importance of customs and border protection agencies in preventing and reducing this heinous crime,” he said.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, giving an overview on the socio-economic impact of illicit trade on the economy highlighted that the direct employment opportunity lost in textiles, cigarettes, readymade garments, capital goods and consumer electronics was about 5.01 lakh in 2017-18, while the employment opportunity lost in the economy was about 16.36 lakh in 2017-18 due to backward linkages and multiplier effects of these five industries. Mr. Jha also stressed on having zero-tolerance towards illicit products as it fuelled terrorist activities and organised crime.
The seminar generated discussions on the organised crime surge in India and the role of enforcement agencies in combating smuggling and counterfeiting. Ms. Kameswari Subramanian, International Expert, Customs Law, Procedures & Trade facilitation and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE while chairing the session emphasised on the role of social media, television and broadcasting on curbing the menace of illicit trade. Mr. M M Parthiban, Principal Commissioner of Customs, Chennai Customs Zone, Mr. Peri Umasankar, Additional Director General, DRI, Chennai Zonal Unit, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Mr. Vijay Kumar, IPS, Superintendent of Police, CB, CID, Chennai joined Ms. Subramanian in the panel. The enforcement officers echoed on the need for effective coordination and collaboration among the stakeholders coupled with vigorous action in order to counter the growing hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling. With the online purchase fuelling the sale of counterfeit products, the officers urged firms to use bar-codes and RFID tags when selling via e-portals to assure consumers of authentic products.
The role of government and industry to fight against smuggled and fake products and ensuring consumer protection was addressed by representative of leading industries, law firms and senior government officials. Eminent panellists in the deliberations included Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mr. Sajjansingh R Chavan, Commissioner, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Ms. Shakthi Priya, Legal Consultant, Hindustan Unilever, Mr. Rajesh Ramanathan, Partner, Factum Law and Mr. R Srivatchan, Director, Chaturth Business Solutions. The panellists were of the view that a streamlined, formal system of informing the manufacturers about the illicit products would allow for an effective communication between consumers and brands and help curb the practice of producing counterfeit products. They emphasised on the fact that illicit trade was a national issue that affected everyone individually, hence, a behavioural change for consumers was required with respect to buying/using such products.
Ms. P Suriya Prabha, Director of Programs, Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) elaborated on few international best practices in combating illicit trade, while Mr. P Sridharan, Head, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council also shared his perspective on the subject.
The seminar witnessed enthusiastic participation of over 120 industry captains, representative from consumer forums, lawyers, government officials, media and other stakeholders. The discussions concluded with a common view that the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling was multifaceted and complex and needed to be discussed time and again with government agencies to emphasize on effectively addressing the menace through adequate laws and enforcement practices; increased engagement with industry and, most importantly, creating awareness in the society to help fight the threat emanating from illicit trade.Lear More
13/11/2019 | New Delhi
The food and beverage industry faces a challenge from counterfeiters on a global scale. Counterfeit foodproducts and beverages threaten the health and safety of people around the world who often unsuspectingly buy these potentially very dangerous goods. More so, this is coupled with the loss of revenue and reputation of the impacted industry. Counterfeiting in this area is particularly dangerous because consumption of non-standard or low quality edible food and drinks can lead to involuntary ingestion of toxic substances that may cause serious health ailments or be life-threatening.
The magnitude and effects of counterfeiting are of such significance that they compel strong and sustained action from governments, business and consumers. With this in view, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India [FSSAI] and FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy [CASCADE] jointly organized a Roundtable on Counterfeit Food Products. This roundtable was organized with the objective to have in place a detailed action plan for government, enforcement agencies and industry to address this menace. The initiative was supported by FICCI CIFTI and E-Commerce Committee.
Mr. Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, who chaired the roundtable, stated that FSSAI would look into the problem of counterfeit food products holistically and advised the food safety administration on the legal provisions available and their effective enforcement. Moreover, based on the inputs received from industry, an action plan would be developed to address the issue of counterfeit food products, which will be based on the following parameters:
* Nature, Background & Current Status of Counterfeiting of Food Products in India
* Current Legal & Regulatory Provisions to Check Counterfeiting of Goods
* Industry Initiatives for Controlling Counterfeiting
* Initiatives by E-Commerce Companies
* Initiatives by Direct Selling Companies
* Leveraging Technology: Use of Track & Trace Mechanism to Control Counterfeiting
* Strengthening of Enforcement & Surveillance Mechanism
* Consumer Awareness & Capacity Building
* CASCADE & Industry Associations Initiatives on addressing Counterfeiting
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said that over past several years through its various initiatives, CASCADE had taken a number of steps to address the threat of counterfeiting and smuggling. A key tool to address this issue is educating consumers to ask for a bill while buying products so that this would act as a proof-of-purchase and can be used for consumer protection in case the product is a counterfeit. He also emphasized that strengthening the penal provisions along with their speedy adjudication for cases related to counterfeiting were imperative.
The roundtable was attended by leading food and beverage companies, including ITC, Nestle, Britannia, Dabur, Coco-Cola, Hindustan Unilever, Mondelez, Mars, Marico, DS Group, Perfetti Van Melle, Pernod Richard, Diageo etc. who flagged their individual issues. Representatives from major e-commerce companies, e.g. Amazon, Flipkart, Shopclues and Snapdeal also participated and explained their compliance mechanisms to address online counterfeiting.
GS1, the leading organization for anti-counterfeiting solutions, also presented their perspective on curbing this menace through the use of authentication solutions. However, it was felt that the counterfeiting scenario of each industry was unique; and therefore, solutions to address needed to be tailored according to the concerned sectors.
The members at the roundtable conclusively agreed that the criminal activities of illicit operators will only continue to be more aggressive, bolder, and more effective at infiltrating the legitimate supply chain. The proposed pragmatic action plan by FSSAI is, therefore, a welcome and much-needed step to create the desired deterrence and strengthen actions against the perpetrators of such crimes.Lear More
Communication, Coordination and Collaboration- Strengthening the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling, Karnataka
31/08/2019 | Karnataka
The connectivity of the world’s population has increased phenomenally during the past decades extending the reach of illicit trade to the remotest corners. Technological advent, fast communication channels and globalisation have given impetus to the exponential growth of illicit trade in dangerous forms, such as counterfeiting, smuggling and piracy. According to the World Economic Forum, the economic leakages from illicit trade creates an annual drain on the global economy of $2.2 trillion, which is nearly 3% of the world’s economy.
In order to discuss this growing concern, FICCI CASCADE organised a seminar on “Communication, Coordination and Collaboration: Strengthening the Fight against Counterfeiting and Smuggling” in association with the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru on 31st August 2019. Mr. Ullas Kamath, Chairman, Karnataka State Council, FICCI in his welcome address said that while the national GDP was growing at a rate of 5%, the growth of counterfeit goods was outpacing it at nearly 10%. He added that it was imperative to understand the need for safeguarding the rights of legitimate industry towards developing competitiveness in various sectors of the economy. Mr. Najib Shah, Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE in his theme address, stated that “the realization of the damage counterfeiting causes is not appreciated. On the other hand, smuggling results in generation of unaccounted wealth and is the immediate trigger for criminal activities. We should aim to work towards creating an environment where people will want to be innovators and manufacturers and importers without fear of their work being plagiarised or having to compete with smugglers”.
“Compounding the problem is that counterfeiting has a nebulous definition”, observed Hon’ble Ms. Justice Prathiba M. Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court, the Chief Guest at the programme. While commending FICCI CASCADE’s continued campaign in addressing the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting, Justice Pratibha Singh emphasized on the need for education, awareness and sensitization campaigns amongst consumers, specially the country’s youth, to effectively deal with the problem of illicit trade.
Prof. Dr. M.K. Ramesh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law School of India University, in his address, mentioned that “tackling the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling should be of prime importance with zero defect and zero-effect on the environment. The image of India will shine globally if we strengthen our enforcement of laws, evolve strategies to address this issue and at the same time safeguard the intellect”. The Vice-Chancellor extended his support and ensured the Law School’s commitment to work with FICCI CASCADE in its fight against smuggling and counterfeiting.
The seminar generated discussions on shortcomings in the existing legal framework and likely solutions among senior officials including Mr. Pravin Pawar, DIG-CID, Karnataka State Police, Mr. P P Hegde, Criminal Lawyer, Karnataka High Court, Dr. Nagarathna, National Law School, Mr. S K Murthy, Patent Counsel, Intel India and Ms. Vijayalakshmi Malkani, IP Counsel, Hindustan Unilever. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manmohan Sarin, Former Lok Ayukta, NCT of Delhi, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir, Judge, High Court of Delhi and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE, who chaired the panel discussion, said that “our society sees counterfeit goods as a cost-effective alternative to the real thing. But how many people realise that the income from fake goods is funding illegal activities?”. DIG CID Mr. Pawar remarked that many junior police officers lacked the skills required to tackle illicit trading activities. “The police’s priority is basic law and order. Even when anti-counterfeiting busts are effective, convictions are low because of slow justice in courts” he added.
The subsequent panel discussions focused on the issue of online counterfeiting, potential solutions with respect of enforcement and policy guidelines by concerned government departments. Eminent panelists in the deliberations included Mr. A. K, Jyotishi, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Bengaluru Zone, Mr. T G Venkatesh, Additional Director, DRI, Bengaluru Zone, Mr. Harikrishna Holla, Advocate, Dr. Anita A Patil, Assistant Professor, NLSIU, Mr. Pradeep Dixit, General Manager-Industry Affairs, ITC and Mr. Diwakar Singh Pundir, Head Legal & IP, Marico Limited. Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs, while chairing the session, highlighted that in the last twenty years, the volume of counterfeiting activities globally had increased 100 times and the size of trade in counterfeited goods was 10% of the legal international trade amounting to 2% of the world’s overall economic output. “The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived”, he emphasized.
Prof. (Dr.) T. Ramakrishna, Professor of Law, Chair of Intellectual Property Rights, Head, CIPRA, Head, Institute of Excellence on Standards and IPR, elaborated on the best practices in dealing with the counterfeiting issue globally, citing laws in the US, Turkey, Canada, UAE and Japan, along with Mr. Ranjan Narula, Managing Partner, RNA, who spoke on the laws in the US and Canada.
The event witnessed enthusiastic participation of over 100 industry captains, representative from consumer forums, lawyers, government officials and other stakeholders. The program concluded with the participating delegates agreeing on the following proposals:
1. The primary concern in tackling the growing phenomenon of illicit trade is the implementation and enforcement of laws, as the legal framework is adequate.
2. There is a need to train judicial and police officers for ease of implementation and prosecution of such cases.
3. The need to understand that the consumers are also an important stakeholder. Involving them to fight the increasing menace is essential to tackle this isuue.
4. Naming and shaming both users and producers of counterfeit products is another essential mechanism, which will lead to shunning of the products by the consumers themselves, thereby leading to a change in the mindset of the people.
FICCI CASCADE Inter-School Competition on ZERO Evasion – ‘Fight Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling, New Delhi
07/08/2019| New Delhi
With the unrelenting growth of illicit trade through counterfeiting and smuggling, FICCI CASCADE has been continuously campaigning against these activities. However, as the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling has led to more financial, economic and social crisis, it is our continuous endeavour to revisit, rethink and test new approaches in addressing this socio-economic challenge.
India has a young population profile and is set to be the youngest country by 2020. The youth of India being the country’s future, it becomes imperative to understand the power tomorrow’s consumers. With youngsters becoming a key stakeholder for advocating socially responsible behaviour, FICCI CASCADE believes that it is important to bring them on board the awareness campaign and through them influence the society as a whole. We believe that an idea planted in their minds can become an instrument of change.
FICCI CASCADE has initiated a youth movement across the country to spread awareness among the young minds and seek their support to underpin the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling. Such a campaign has offered an opportunity to bring in more people, particularly youngsters to push forward its actions to curb the ensuing menace.
In order to pick the brains of the young school children and inspire the youth to take required actions to discourage and stop the purchase of fake, spurious and smuggled goods, FICCI CASCADE organised an Interschool Meet on the subject, where over 350 students from 50 leading schools from Delhi and NCR and few from other states as well competed against each other in three categories of competitions, namely, Painting, Elocution and Creative Writing, on the theme “Zero- Evasion: Fight Counterfeiting and Smuggling” on 6th August 2019 in FICCI, New Delhi. The programme was also supported by FICCI ARISE (Alliance for re-imagining School Education).
The contest witnessed enthusiastic and active participation from students, most of whom were very impressive in expressing their concern on the need to curb such illegal trade practices. The competitions provided a unique platform to the young minds to express their views through their oratory and creative talent on diverse themes like “Young India Says No to Counterfeiting and Smuggling”, “Terrorism Financing through Smuggling”, “India: A Victim of Smuggling”, “India’s Brand Integrity at Stake due to Counterfeiting and Smuggling” etc.
The competitions were judged by Mr. P. K Malhotra, Former Secretary of Law and Justice, Govt. of India, Mr. Sanjeev Tripathi, Former Chief of RAW, Mr. Hem Pande, Former Secretary, Consumer Affairs, GOI, Mr. Deep Chand, Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi and Mr. P. C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE & Former Special Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC),
The winners in the competitions were as follows:
|#||Name of the Competition||1st||2nd||3rd||Consolation|
|1||Elocution Competition||Mannat Arora
Blue Bells Model School, Gurgaon
School: Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh
School: Nehru World School
School: Queen’s Valley School, Dwarka
|2||Painting Competition||Supriya Baital
School: Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushpa Vihar
School: Spingdales School, Pusa Road
School: St. Columba’s School, Ashok Place
School: Don Bosco School
School: Arvind Gupta DAV Centenary Public School
School: The Future Kids School
|3||Creative Writing Competition||Devanshi Yadav
School: Ryan International School, Vasant kunj
School: Mount Abu Public School, Rohini
School: Lilawati Vidhya Mandir Sr. Sec School, Shakti Nagar
School: Laxman Public School, Hauzkhas
School: Darbari Lal DAV Model School, Shalimar Bagh
Through the competitions not only did all witness the skills and creative abilities of the school children, but also visible was the passion in them to bring about a change in the society by shunning fake products and saying no to smuggled goods.
To reiterate, awareness generation is extremely crucial in bringing change in attitudes from considering counterfeiting and smuggling activities as victimless crime to the realization that it entails grave risks, both social and economic. A pro-active and preventative approach and strategy is the need of the hour to curb the twin menace. Several steps are being taken by FICCI CASCADE and the government to create large-scale awareness among the most impacted segment of this menace: the consumer. This youth awareness initiative was one of a series of such events to be organised across the country as part of a nation-wide awareness campaign to highlight the issue and focus on the growing menace of illicit trade.Lear More
Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy, New Delhi
05/07/2019| New Delhi
Over some time now, trade in counterfeit, smuggled and pirated goods has developed into a substantial threat to the economy of our country and pose serious safety and security hazards to the society at large. Different government agencies are involved at various stages in tackling such crimes, right from detection, investigation, prosecution and prevention of these offences, often including the recovery of the proceeds of crime. The police department is the primary law enforcement agency in our country. With low barriers to market entry and infiltration, the police play a very significant role in ensuring the protection of right owners. There are adequate laws available but enforcement of the laws makes the role of police officers even more important in the fight against counterfeiters and smugglers.
FICCI CASCADE has been organizing capacity building programs for police officers in various states, focusing on economic offences such as counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling, equipping the officers to understand the laws and take requisite action against counterfeiters and smugglers. In pursuance of its agenda of sensitizing police officers on this issue, FICCI CASCADE organized a series of capacity building programmes for police officers on ‘Prevention of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy’ during June-July 2019 in Vizianagaram, Mysore, Chennai, Meghalaya and culminated it in New Delhi on 5th July, 2019.
A key objective of the program was to build capacities of the officials on seriousness of the socio-economic impact of counterfeited and smuggled goods and the practical aspects that has to be kept in mind by the officers while investigation of economic crimes. Over 250 police officers of the rank SIs, ASIs, DSPs, ACPs and DCPs participated in the training programme at Barakhamba Police Station, New Delhi.
Mr. Deep Chand, Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi and Advisor, FICCI CASCADE, in his address informed about FICCI CASCADE’s mandate of capacity building of law enforcement agencies including Judges, Police and Customs Officers, and how CASCADE had been working extensively and intensively in this area nationally, organizing training programmes and seminars along with continuous interactions with the law enforcement authorities to emphasize on the importance of increased awareness on the gravity of the problem.
Mr. Chand correlated smuggling and counterfeiting activity with the security challenge in different environments around the world. He cited various instances where illicit trade in goods is being increasingly used to fund anti-social and terrorist activities. Mr. Chand also urged that need of the hour today was tangible actions to increase enforcement, and to impose increased punishments. This is imperative to reassure legitimate business owners and consumers that the government is serious about protecting right owners, and this will, in turn, encourage greater support for government policies.
While deliberating on the topic, some of the challenges for police in addressing such crimes that were highlighted are:
• Capacity in terms of skill, infrastructure and technology amongst the law enforcement is not adequate.
• Since the police officers are fully occupied with the investigation of property offences and crime they have little exposure to economic offences and special provisions contained in the enforcement of the IP laws. Hence, it is not a priority for police officers.
• Lack of knowledge of legal provisions related to IP laws. This is necessary for efficient investigation and successful prosecution.
• Majority of the Investigation Officers do not have requisite training and are not comfortable with the investigation that involves such offences.
Mr. Suvashis Choudhary, IPS, Additional Commissioner of Police, Economic Offence Wing, Delhi Police, chief guest at the programme said that, ‘”The fundamental work of the police is to safeguard life and property of the public, and to maintain law and order in the society. Counterfeiting and smuggling activities is a wire joint which encourages organized crimes. Traditional crimes like murder and terrorism are usually given importance however, economic crimes like counterfeiting and smuggling which affect our daily lives are not given due priority’. Mr. Choudhary thanked FICCI CASCADE for its initiative of sensitizing police officers on this pertinent issue and urged the industry to come forward and work collaboratively with the police to address this menace”.
The training session was also addressed by eminent lawyers, academicians and industry discussing on a wide range of concerns on the subject with the participating police officials. The programmes were supported by United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Timothy K. Browning, Attorney-Advisor, USPTO, Washington emphasized on the creation of a National Coordination Center to enforce IP laws and resolve issues arising out of this menace. He also said ‘‘USPTO stands for promoting strong and effective IP laws globally and we have collaborated with FICCI CASCADE to exchange best practices and new methods to counter crimes such as counterfeiting, smuggling and piracy.”
All speakers unanimously agreed on the fact that the existence and operation of smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy is not only broad in scope and large in value but is draining the global economy, causing losses to both industry & government, and most importantly adversely impacting the health and safety of the consumers. There is an urgent need to create communication, coordination and close cooperation amongst various government agencies, law enforcement officials and private sector to curb the growing scourge.Lear More
Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy, Meghalaya
29/06/2019| North Eastern Police Academy, Meghalaya
FICCI CASCADE in its series of capacity building programme for police officers organised a training programme on 29 th June 2019 in North Eastern Police Academy, Meghalaya on the ‘Prevention of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy’. A key objective of the program was to prioritize the issue of trade in illicit products and its socio-economic impact among the officers so that the practical aspects are kept in mind by the officers while investigating such economic crimes. 202 police officers participated in the training programme. Among the speakers who discussed the wide-ranging concerns on the issue of counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling with the participating police officials were: Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, Mr. Bhaskar Mukherjee, Partner, Lexprotector, Mr. Milind Palany, Senior Manager, Global Brand Protection, India & South Asia, Johnson and Johnson and Ms. Aindrila Biswas, Brand Protection Consultant, Eastern Region-India, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. The workshop was extremely helpful in sensitizing the police officers about the relevant laws and procedures to be followed while dealing with the cases related to smuggling and counterfeiting.Lear More