Seminar on Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling- An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development, Chennai
27/3/2018 | Hotel Raintree, Anna Salai, Chennai
FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a seminar on ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development’ on March 27th, 2018 in Chennai. The object was to discuss the importance of increased awareness among stakeholders on the hazards of illicit trade, and the need for effective enforcement to enhance India’s economic development. Dr. K Jayanth Murali, ADGP Crime Branch CID, Tamil Nadu was of the view that illicit market for fake and smuggled products was one of the biggest challenges faced by Indian industry. In India, the issue of fake currency was also a serious problem as it was lucrative, and offered high returns. Besides, India had porous borders with countries like Nepal and Bangladesh which provided smugglers the opportunity to smuggle products into India. Mr. R. Srinivasa Naik, Commissioner of Customs, Chennai Customs Zone, in his address stated “In India, there is a strong demand for cheaper branded products from toys to airplane parts. Apart from significant economic loss in terms of revenue, the illicit and smuggling activities affects consumer health and safety, promotes money laundering causing huge loss of reputation to brand owners and our country as a whole.”
Ms. Kavitha Dutt, Co-Chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council, while welcoming the dignitaries, highlighted the objectives of the seminar which included generating awareness, interaction with law enforcement agencies and sharing of best practices. She said that the market for smuggled, counterfeits and contraband products was spreading its tentacles across the industry and this crime had increased manifold. She emphasized that it was imperative to reassure legitimate business owners and consumers that the government was serious about protecting their rights.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, CBEC outlined the impact of counterfeiting & smuggling. “During the last twenty years, volume of counterfeiting activity has increased 100 times and the size of trade in counterfeited goods is 10% of the legal international trade (around 2% of the world’s overall economic output). The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived. It has a huge adverse impact on the security and economy of the country, revenue of the government, health of the people and on the environment. There is also no doubt that the illegal money generated through illicit trade in smuggled, counterfeited and pirated goods is a major source to finance such dangerous activities as terrorism, insurgency and other organized crimes”, said Mr. Jha.
Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mr. Deep Chand said that industry should cooperate with the police to ensure conviction and not stop at just filing complaints. “It is time that we, as a nation and as a part of the global economy, call for stern and resolute counterstrike measure against such ill-intentioned activities; starting with greater vigil at the borders to bilateral and multilateral engagements between nations, strengthening the enforcement agencies and working towards the removal of ambiguities in the law related to illicit products”, observes Mr. Chand.
On the factors behind consumers opting for counterfeit products, consumer right activist Nirmala Desikan said those who bought fake goods did so as they were cheaper. On drug counterfeiting, she said at one point of time there were about 35 counterfeits of the popular “Nimesulide” (a pain reliever) brand. She said consumers should be alert as such illicit products could be a cause of morbidity and mortality.
The seminar also marked the enthusiastic and encouraging support of Mr. P. Thamarai Kannan, Inspector General of Police, Crime (CID) and Mr. Jagannath Ramaswamy, Chief Mentor, Crystal. Mr. Ramaswamy emphasized on the role of organizations like FICCI and appealed to the industry to help protect the “Consumer”. Mr. Ruban Hobday, Head, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council gave the Vote of Thanks. Over 150 people attended the seminar, which saw vigorous interaction with most delegates demonstrating an active interest in the issue.
Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling, Thrissur
23/2/2018 | Kerala Police Academy, Ramavarmapuram, Thrissur
The Police department is the primary law enforcement agency, which administers the Government’s economic, trade and tariff policies and aids to minimize demerit goods from augmenting in the markets. With low barriers to market entry and infiltration, the Police play a very significant role in ensuring and enforcing the protection of right owners. Keeping the above in view, FICCI CASCADE also organized a training programme on the Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling for the Kerala Police officers on 23rd February 2018 at the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur. The objective was to help the participating police officers understand relevant laws and procedures tackle counterfeiters and smugglers.
Dr. B. Sandhya, Additional DG & Director, Kerala Police Academy was the Chief Guest at the programme. He informed that most cases of counterfeiting and smuggling in Kerala originated in Bangladesh, and to counter these, increased coordination among various investigation agencies and the state police department was crucial. The training programme was attended by over 60 police officers and provided a useful platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences in the enforcement of laws and practices while dealing with counterfeiters and smugglers. The speakers deliberated on the various aspects that a police officer needs to keep in mind while investigating cases of illicit trading activities such as: legal provisions against such offences, penalties awarded to counterfeiters and smugglers, enforcement procedures to prevent such economic offences etc. The speakers included Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, Ms. Lini Priya Vasavan, Assistant Professor of Law, Thrissur Government Law College, Mr. Reji Jacob, Superintendent of Police & Assistant Director, Kerala Police Academy and Mr. Pravin Parab, Associate Director IPR, Netrika consulting. The participating police personnel found the presentations constructive and interacted actively with the speakers.Lear More
22/2/2018 | Christ Nagar College, Thiruvananthapuram
As a part of its series of nation-wide awareness campaigns to highlight the issue of the growing menace of illicit trading activities, FICCI CASCADE also organized a candle light congregation for the students of Christ Nagar College, on 22nd February 2018 in Thiruvananthapuram. Over 200 students, with candles in their hands and banners stating, ‘Buy Make in India’ and ‘Say No to Smuggled Goods’ participated in this event with much zest and zeal. The congregation urged all to take a pledge against using fake products and to fight the menace of smuggling which was in the larger interest of the nation’s economy. The Principal of Christ Nagar College, Rev. Dr. Titto Varghese, commended FICCI CASCADE’s endeavour in initiating the nation-wide movement against counterfeit and smuggled goods. IGP Crime Branch, S Sreejith, who was the Chief Guest at the congregation, said that activities involving illicit trade curbed the economic independence of the nation and there was the need to collectively counter this menace.
Seminar on Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling- An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development, Thiruvananthapuram
21/2/2018, Hotel Taj Vivanta, Thiruvananthapuram
Illicit business networks are infiltrating and undermining licit markets globally. In the process, they are jeopardizing public health and safety, discouraging research and development, and eroding government revenues, thus hurting the economic development of countries across the world.
With the objective of engaging relevant stakeholders, including government officials, enforcement agencies, youth, the media, industry, legal experts and consumer activists, and to sensitize them on the severe adverse impact that counterfeiting and smuggling activities entail, FICCI CASCADE organized a series of programme in Kerala during 21st to 23rd February 2018. The events provided a useful forum to deliberate on the challenges posed by the growing levels of such illicit activities, and generated valuable exchanges among the participating stakeholders.
On 21st February 2018, a seminar on the theme “Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development” was organized in Thiruvananthapuram, where experts from various fields came together to discuss the growing concern over illicit trade in the state and the need for awareness generation on the many adverse impacts of the menace among the impacted segments of the society.
Mr. V. S. Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala, the Chief Guest on the occasion, underlined the need to generate awareness on the ill effects of such illicit trading activities, especially in a maritime state like Kerala, and the need for all concerned to fight this socio-economic menace. He observed that smuggling was emerging as a major threat to national security, and the funds generated through the large quantities of smuggled products, particularly of electronic products, foreign cigarettes, gold etc., were being used by criminal syndicates and terrorists.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor FICCI CASCADE & Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, pointed out that counterfeiting was the biggest scourge impairing the world’s economy, accounting for almost 10% of global trade. Elaborating on the magnitude of the problem, Mr Jha informed that in India the total loss to the government in respect of just seven items, as per a FICCI CASCADE study estimate, had increased steeply from Rs. 26,190 crore to Rs. 39,239 crores.
While observing that cigarettes, saffron and gold were the most smuggled items in Kerala, he said that loopholes in the taxation policy encouraged tax evasion leading to smuggling of goods. He also stated that counterfeiting was the number one crime of 21st century, putting at stake brand owners’ reputation, causing severe loss of revenue to the public exchequer, and posing a serious threat to the security – nationally and internationally.
The seminar also included a panel discussion on ‘Countering the Menace of Counterfeiting and Smuggling – Resolutions and Possible Solutions’, where experts from related areas discussed the issue at hand. Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, in his address said “8 to 15% of global GDP is impacted due to illicit trade and criminal activities. It is time that we, as a national and as a part of the global economy, call for stern and resolute counterstrike force against such ill-intentioned activities”.
The seminar also marked the enthusiastic and encouraging support of enforcement officers. Mr. S Sreejith, IG, Crime Branch, Kerala Police said that counterfeiting and smuggling activities soon graduated to organized crimes, and to check these, the law enforcement agencies should be made more powerful. Joint Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Aneish P Rajan, pointed out the lack of manpower and facilities to check the rising number of sophisticated smuggling activities in the state. He also expressed the concern that international smuggling networks appeared to be increasingly recruiting Kerala youth as carriers. Both the enforcement officials underlined the importance of consumer support in fighting the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling, the need for their active involvement in the cause, and how by merely registering their complaints with the police and custom departments could make a difference.
Adv. Jayakrishnan, Secretary, Bar Association of Thiruvanthapuram, spoke on the challenges faced in countering illicit trade, including the shortage of manpower, leakage of vital information, slow prosecution, corruption among officials, IPR crimes not given adequate importance – among others. Mr. S.N. Raghuchandran Nair, President, Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the quest for luxury products like mobile phones, consumer durables etc. among consumers and specifically the youth was very high. We need to enlighten them on the related loss of revenue, educate the masses on the ill-effect of such products on their health and safety, impose stricter punishment and raise the will to curb the menace of illicit products. “Smuggling takes place in various forms including mis-declaration and undervaluation. Markets across India are flooded with smuggled items, consequences of which are alarming” said Mr. Shibu Prabhakaran, President, Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Arjun, Director, Parthas Textile and Dr. P T Ajith Kumar, CEO, Lights Logics Holography & Optics also spoke extensively on the subject.
Over 120 delegates attended the seminar and the event generated constructive interaction with delegates demonstrating an active interest in the issue.
Illicit Trade: A Growing Economic Menace
12/10/2017 | ITC Maurya, New Delhi, India
Illicit trade holistically disrupts the sustainable development of a nation. It not only leads to loss of revenues to states, but also risks legitimate businesses. Besides, illicit trade causes significant threats to the health, safety and security of the citizens, as well as adds to costs on governance, environment and biodiversity. Moreover, globally it fuels transnational crime, corruption, and terrorism. As it converges with other criminal activities, it undermines the rule of law and the legitimate market economy, creating greater insecurity and instability around the world.
Across the globe, illicit networks are infiltrating and corrupting the economic development of the nations. With the advent of technology, illicit trade and organized crime have found voguish nexus causing the problem to increase manifold. FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy [CASCADE] has, over the years, been concertedly addressing this issue through its various pan-India awareness generation activities, building capacities of law enforcement officials and undertaking ground breaking research on the extent and impact of the menace.
In furtherance of its mandate, FICCI CASCADE organized the 4th edition of its International Conference titled – MASCRADE, 2017- Movement Against Smuggling and Counterfeit Trade in New Delhi on 12th and 13th October 2017. The theme of this year’s conference was Protect Your Brand Globally: Fight Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy. MASCRADE 2017 was structured to ensure that national and international stakeholders deliberated to identify opportunities for joint action between governments, private sector, and enforcement machinery to combat illegal trade. The objective was to:
- Look at the economic consequences of mass counterfeiting, smuggling & piracy and the strategies needed to deter this activity
- Contribute to an integrated vision of security and public safety
- Deepen understanding of “grey markets” for illicit goods, to assess their impact, and to promote practical recommendations and effective strategies by the public and private sectors to dismantle them
- Develop a better enforcement ecosystem and to protect the interest of brand owners in India
Inaugurating the conference, Mr. Shatrughan Sinha, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, emphasized on the need to focus on not only to promote India’s goods and services, but also to increasingly protect our goods and services against smuggling and counterfeiting. He urged all the stakeholders to take this agenda to the global platform and engage actively with transnational enforcement agencies, including NRIs, in the movement against illicit trade. Lauding FICCI CASCADE’s commitment and drive to curb smuggling and all forms of illicit trade, which was helping in creating awareness on this serious problem, he observed that more such initiatives were called for to change the mind set of consumers on the use of illicit goods and services, and the role they could play in the fight against the growing socio-economic threat.
Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, through a video message, underlined the fact that with India moving towards becoming a knowledge economy, respecting and protecting the knowledge and intellectual property of its creators was a key component for the country’s rapid growth. He assured the forum that the government was committed to this end, and was taking measures to put in place a robust and effective regime to guard the economy against all forms of illicit trade.
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE, in his welcome address, stated “Proceeds from Illicit trade are increasingly becoming the main source of terror funding. We need to understand this relationship and work towards effective mechanisms to counter its worldwide impact. It is a race against time as all of us are the stakeholders. The policymakers are steadily taking steps but the need of the hour is to seek bold and out of the box solutions”.
Highlighting the several initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to fight the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Member, Customs, Central Board of Excise and Customs, highlighted the need to create ownership and to build a relationship of trust between the government agencies and private sector. The need of the hour was to create a level-playing field for the stakeholders to curb tax evasion, black economy and revenue losses, he observed, while adding that CBEC was a potent force which was ready to partner with FICCI and the private sector to fight illicit trade.
Mr. Sergey Kapinos, Regional Representative, South Asia, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in his address, said that smuggling and counterfeiting goods not only hampered the economic growth of a country but also adversely affected the social fabric and the well-being of its people. There was a growing need to collaborate globally for framing robust policies and effective implementation to curtail this economic menace, he added.
During the conference, FICCI CASCADE and KPMG India released a report titled- ‘Illicit trade: Fuelling Terror Financing and Organised Crime’. According to the report, India was the third most affected country by terrorist activities in 2016, with the first and second positions occupied by Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Another feature highlighted is that counterfeiting stands as the second largest source of income for criminal activities such as terrorism globally, as estimated by United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ). Also, terrorist organisations are manufacturing counterfeit goods and smuggling them across borders to finance their crime operations. Prominent terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Qaida, Irish Republican Army, etc. rely on illicit trade for financing up to 20% of terror operations.
The report also highlights that the total employment losses globally due to counterfeits and piracy stood at 2 to 2.6 million jobs in 2013 and is expected to rise to 4.2 to 5.4 million jobs in 2022, suggesting an approximate increase of 110 per cent. The most commonly counterfeited and smuggled goods are tobacco, cigarettes, electronic items, gold, machinery and parts, alcoholic beverages, auto components, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and mobile phones. As per KPMG, in India’s analysis on UN COMTRADE data for years 2012-16, the average annual smuggling of electronics was around Rs. 3,430 crore. Similarly, the average smuggling of gold for these years was Rs. 3,120 crore, and machinery and parts Rs. 5,913 crore. Further, the percentage penetration of illicit trade in the cigarettes market increased from 15% to 21%. Factors like higher taxation rates, availability of cheaper alternatives, lack of awareness and lack of enforcement mechanisms are key factors that drive illegal trade in India.
The conference, spread over two days, highlighted and deliberated on issues such as ways of countering illicit market operations, defending brands, reputational and financial impact due to illicit market operations, collaborations among law enforcement agencies to fight illicit trade and cross border organized crime, combating content theft in the digital economy, anti-counterfeiting, anti-smuggling & brand protection strategies and solutions – among others. The discussions also focused on the socio-economic consequences of cross border illicit trade and the policies needed to deter this activity. The interactions contributed to an integrated vision of national security and public safety, enabling an interdisciplinary dialogue among the participating industry regulators, customs and law enforcement officials, major producers of consumer goods, consumer associations and NGOs. With an underlying objective to deepen understanding of illicit trading activities across borders, the meet also was a useful forum to discuss effective strategies to dismantle such illegal business practices by the public and private sectors.
The conference saw participation of a host of notable international speakers from World Customs Organization (WCO), INTERPOL, United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD), US Homeland Security and US Patents and Trademarks Office, and senior private sector executives from Louis Vuitton, Beiersdorf, PUMA, etc. The forum was also addressed by senior Indian government officials, including Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Mr. D. P Dash, Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence; Mr. Sushil Satpute, Director, DIPP; Mr. M M Oberoi, Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police.
India has a committed border protection force as well as enforcement agencies that not only safeguard the long national borders against trans-border criminals, including smugglers and terrorists, but also enforce anti-smuggling & anti-counterfeiting laws. To encourage and acknowledge the work of India’s law enforcement agencies, FICCI CASCADE, during the MASCRADE 2017, also felicitated the best performing officers for the period 2016-17 for their outstanding achievement in the preventing of illicit trade, and enforcing of anti-smuggling & anti-counterfeiting laws from several Government agencies such as:
1. Indian Customs
2. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
3. Indian Coast Guard
4. Sashastra Seema Bal
5. Assam Rifles
6. Delhi Police
Media CoverageDownload Pdf
Post Conference Report.Download Pdf
26/9/2017 | Faridabad
FICCI CASCADE in association with the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Tax and Narcotics, (NACIN) organized a capacity building programme on the ‘Socio-Economic Impact of Illicit Trade’ on September 26, 2017 in Faridabad. The objective was to sensitize officers of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs, Indirect Tax and Narcotics) on the ill effects of illicit trade, with special focus on the menace of smuggling, on the economy and society as a whole.
Ms. Reena Arya (IRS), Additional Director General, NACIN, in her opening remarks, stated that illicit trade was a global problem of enormous scale, impacting human lives and virtually every industry sector around the world. The speakers deliberated on various aspects and shared their insights on how to handle issues like smuggling and counterfeiting. They also interacted actively with the officers on the ways and means to counter this threat. Some of the key issues discussed were as follows:
- Developing local intelligence is key to address the challenges related to smuggling
- Coordinated and serious enforcement is one of the best ways to counter illegal trade in industry
- Deterrence has to be created for effective enforcement
The capacity building programme was attended by over 120 officers in day-long interactive event.Lear More
FICCI CASCADE National Awards for Excellence in Investigative Journalism on Smuggling Issues Affecting Indian Industry
Articles/Reports/Stories Eligible for the Award Will Be Those Published/Aired: For both Print and Electronic Media
FICCI CASCADE has been working extensively on creating awareness on tackling smuggling which is a serious menace to public health and safety, national security and government revenues, and why all concerned must address this grave threat to the economy, and the society at large. We have received tremendous support of media in making our efforts public and sharing facts and figures, which points to the importance of the issue and reinforce our belief to highlight the menace through media for mass awareness generation and building public opinion.
With this in view, FICCI CASCADE will recognize outstanding contribution to journalism by awarding premier and active journalists who are covering various issues on smuggling and their multiple adverse effects. This award will honour journalists from both print and electronic media, whose work is of high professional standards and generates public trust in the media while provoking further debate on the issue that significantly impacts the economy and the lives of people.
Needless to say that the voice of media is a powerful tool and FICCI CASCADE will felicitate the journalists who show high standards of rigour, depth and analysis while comprehensively covering various aspects of smuggling which impact Indian business and economy.
|Category||Cash prize – 1st||Cash prize – 2nd||Cash prize – 3rd|
|Excellence in Journalistic Reporting
||Rs. 2,00,000||Rs. 1,00,000||Rs. 50,000|
|Excellence in Journalistic Reporting
|Rs. 2,00,000||Rs. 1,00,000||Rs. 50,000|
All the above winners will also receive trophies and certificates.Lear More
25/5/2017 | ITC Maurya, New Delhi
The existence and operation of illicit trade vis-à-vis counterfeiting and smuggling has been an enduring problem that has escalated in scope and magnitude, impacting industries, government, economies and, the health and safety of the consumers. Moreover, such operations have close links to terror organizations and criminal networks. In fact, it is today one of the biggest challenges faced by India and its industry, impacting the country’s image in the global arena.
FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), over the years, has been actively focusing on curbing the problem of growing illicit trade in smuggled, pass-offs and counterfeit goods.
In pursuance of its agenda, FICCI CASCADE organized an interactive session on the ‘Impact of Illicit Trade on Industry, Economy and Consumers’ on 24th May 2017 at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi. The intent was to facilitate a wider exchange and ensure a multifaceted perspective to understand the gravity of the menace caused by illicit trade activities. The session focused on issues such as need for increased consumer awareness; strengthening of enforcement regime; impact of taxation policy; improvement in regulatory mechanism and enhanced stakeholder collaboration.
Ms. Sushmita Dev, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, was one of the key speakers at the event. She stated “Tax evasion needs to be seen as an anti-national act and illicit trade should be treated as a national threat,” She further emphasized on the need for a national agency to take over to stop the menace of illicit trade.
Mr. Arun Chawla, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI, in his welcome address, stated, “India today has the potential to become a global manufacturing hub. However, widespread smuggling and counterfeiting, in the absence of an adequate enforcement mechanism to stop it, can act as a dampener in achieving this goal. It is time that we, as a nation and as a part of the global economy, call for stern and resolute counterstrike force against such ill-intentioned activities.”
According to FICCI’s recent report, ‘Invisible Enemy: A Threat to Our National Interests’, the top five goods where the seizures by DRI has been the highest in the past few years have been – gold, cigarettes, machinery parts, fabric/silk yarn and electronic items.
The report also states that illicit trade operators are now switching over to cigarettes and fabric/silk yarn as they are low-risk, high-reward goods. As per the report, in the last one year, the DRI seizures of smuggled cigarettes has increased by 78% (from Rs. 90.75 crores in 2014-15 to Rs. 162 crore in 2015-16) followed by fabric/silk yarn, where the increase is by 73% (from Rs. 24.03 crores in 2014-15 to Rs. 41.78 crore in 2015-16). The seizures of gold have witnessed an increase of 61% (from Rs. 692.35 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 1119.11 crore in 2015-16), while the DRI seizures of machinery parts and electronic items has seen a decline.
The interactive session was also addressed by eminent panelists including Mr. L. Mansingh, former Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India; Mr. Pankaj Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Government of India; Mr. Pankaj Kalra,Country Manager, HPE India Pvt. Ltd and Ms. Deepika Raikwar, Regional Legal Manager, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
Some of the key deliberation points that emerged from the panel discussion were as follows:
- 1. India is being used at a transit point for counterfeiting and smuggling. Stringent polices and strategic collaborations should be undertaken to counter this menace.
- 2. The responsibility also lies with consumers to counter counterfeits and smuggled products. Consumer need to be more aware and socially responsible to report fake and spurious goods.
- 3. Some consumers are unaware of counterfeit products, while some buy intentionally as they cannot afford branded products. There is a need of a transparent system and collaboration between stakeholders to manage this issue.
- 4. A single database for maintaining records of illicit trade should be maintained, which will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to act upon and control it.
- 5. Fast moving consumer goods, such as cosmetics, footwear, sunglasses, televisions, electronic products etc. are mostly counterfeited in the markets.
- 6. There is a need for increased information sharing between enforcement agencies and stakeholders for countering illicit trade.
- 7. Impetus on public policy is a must in countering this issue.
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE, in his closing remarks, emphasized, “Illicit trade is not just the enemy at the gates, but one that has broken through. All stakeholders must join hands to reign in this dangerous force.”
On the occasion, a film on FICCI CASCADE showcasing its achievements and activities since its establishment in 2011 was also released. Over 150 participants attended the interactive session and took part in the discussions.
Seminar on ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development’, Kolkata
20/4/2017 | The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
Illicit networks are infiltrating and undermining licit markets, jeopardizing public health and safety, discouraging research and development, and eroding government revenues, thus hurting the economic development of the country.
FICCI CASCADE with a view to engage all relevant stakeholders, including government representatives, enforcement agencies, consumer activists, the media, industry, legal experts, and to sensitize them to fight against counterfeiting and smuggling, organized a seminar in Kolkata on “Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling– An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development” on 20 April, 2017. The seminar brought experts in this field on a common platform to raise the concern over the growing illicit trade and to create large-scale awareness among the impacted segments of the society.
Shri Sadhan Pande, Minister-in-Charge, Consumer Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal, was the chief guest at the seminar. He stated that illicit trade was an increasingly growing global concern and could not be neglected. Hon’ble Minister added that such activities threaten India’s legal industry, adds social cost to consumers and cause huge loss to the exchequer. Emphasizing on the need of making the society aware on this subject, he highlighted that in India, the situation was being further aggravated with counterfeit and smuggled products getting into the country through our borders. Lauding the CASCADE campaign against illicit trade practices, the minister invited FICCI for joint publicity campaigns with Consumer Affairs Ministry on TV and Radio to increase awareness on the threats posed by counterfeiting and smuggling.
Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Retd. Special Commissioner, Delhi Police outlined the impact of counterfeiting & smuggling while assessing the gravity of the problem. “8-15% of global GDP is impacted due to Illicit trade and criminal activities. It is time that we, as a national and as a part of the global economy, call for stern and resolute counterstrike force against such ill-intentioned activities. Smuggling of drugs, luxury goods, cigarettes are a major source of funding the extremist groups. Thus, steps such as greater vigil at the borders, bilateral and multilateral engagements between nations, punitive action coupled with the right policy framework that dis-incentivizes this entire activity and consumer awareness campaigns which highlights the detrimental impact of illicit products are much needed to combat this menace”, said Mr. Chand in his address.
The seminar also held a panel discussion on ‘countering the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling- resolutions and possible solutions’, where experts from various fields discussed about the issue at hand.
Mr. Gaurav Vutts, Regional Legal Manager, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. said that we need to find the best measures to be adopted to counter the challenges of the growing flow of illegal trade. He emphasized on the need for effective collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders to curb counterfeiting and smuggling. Mr. Siddharth Wanchoo, Executive Vice President, Marketing, ITC Ltd. highlighted the problems faced by cigarette manufacturers, especially when the products are manufactured outside the country and smuggled into our country, tax arbitrage & counterfeiting.
He also emphasized on the loss of revenue to the legal industry and government due to this illegal trade. Mr. Robin Mackenzie, Global Marketing Director, De La Rue emphasized on the need for innovation in overt & covert features, track & trace capabilities of the products along with increased education and legislation to counter illegal trade. Mr. Debanjan Mandal, Partner, Fox & Mandal spoke on the challenges faced to counter illicit trade such as inadequate manpower, leakage of information, corruption, slow prosecution and IPR crimes not given adequate importance etc.
The seminar also marked the enthusiastic and encouraging support of enforcement officers. Mr. Akash Magharia, IPS, Superintendent of Police (Operations), CID, West Bengal, sharing his experiences, explained how the police department recently solved few dealings of counterfeit cement, edible oil, milk etc. in West Bengal. He also stated that porous borders increased the challenge of the Police Department especially in West Bengal as smuggled cigarettes, alcohol, and many other products flooded the market easily. “Right holders must register with customs authorities for better enforcement” observed Mr. M. K Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Customs (Port), Kolkata.
He further underscored on the need of addressing the issue of dumping cheap & poor quality products and sought support of stakeholders in finding strategies to curb this hazard. Mr. Sharma in his address said that trucks headed to Nepal from Kolkata port will soon have RFID tags to prevent tampering and theft by diverting vehicles midway. Both the enforcement officials underlined the need for consumer support to curb the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling and their active involvement towards the cause, and stressed on their registration of complaints with the police and custom departments.
Over 115 delegates attended the programme and the seminar saw vigorous interaction with delegates demonstrating an active interest in the issue. Hon’ble Minister along with the esteemed dignitaries affirmed support and active engagement to counter counterfeiting and smuggling as it needs constant strict and urgent actions.
Ms. Mousumi Ghose, Assistant Secretary General & Head, FICCI West Bengal State Council proposed the vote of thanks. Ms. Ghose concluded the seminar by stating that the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling was multifaceted and complex and needed to be discussed time and again, with government, to emphasize on effective and adequate laws and enforcement; increasing engagement with the industry and most importantly creating awareness in the society to curb illicit trade.Lear More