UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme, Customs Services in Central Asia join efforts to protect intellectual property rights and identify counterfeit goods

The rise of intellectual property related crime is a global challenge threatening to undermine vital efforts in economic development. By purchasing counterfeit goods, consumers not only endanger themselves and others, but unwittingly support organized criminal syndicates.

Almost all products can be counterfeited. Examples include essential medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, auto parts, clothes and accessories, toys, etc. Many counterfeit goods are bought with full knowledge of their counterfeit nature and one counterfeit product can expose slight damage to its consumer’s health, others can even kill.

To address the issues of counterfeit goods and protecting intellectual property rights (IPR), UNODC – WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP) organized a three-day regional capacity development online training on “Enforcement of intellectual property rights and product identification”. 

Some 70 representatives of the Customs services and other competent departments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the theoretical and practical part of the workshop and acquired skills and knowledge in the areas of WCO tools for combatting counterfeiting and piracy, IPR risk assessment technique, how to detect fake goods, how to improve cooperation between Customs and private sector, and more.

“The role of Customs in combatting counterfeiting is very important not only to prevent unfair competition and guarantee equal market access to its actors but also to protect society and ensure compliance with trade rules”, said Mr. Batyr Geldiyev, CCP Regional Programme Coordinator in Central Asia.

 “In 2020, WCO STOP operation took place involving 99 countries to fight counterfeit medicines. It was the first and largest law enforcement operation on substandard and falsified medical products in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The operation encouraged the participants to take part in the next phase of the Programme too, emphasized Mr. Batyr Geldiyev.

Ms. Sandra Wens, international expert outlined the principles of goods identification as legible, its qualifications, difference between Trade Mark and Registered, what intellectual property rights are, shared information on current situation in the world, the reason why it is important to combat counterfeit products and outlined some key point how to understand that the COVID-19 vaccine is fake.

“Cooperation between Law Enforcement Agencies and Private sector as well as information exchange in real time is crucial to facilitate the move of legal vaccines and to stop the criminal organizations from taking advantage of the pandemic”, Ms. Sandra Wens stressed.  

Did you know that counterfeit medicines can damage your life?

They contain inactive chemicals, lower than usual dosages, or even such chemical “binders” as gypsum, talc and brick dust; binding agents that can pose lethal to those who ingest them.

UNODC--WCO Global Container Control Programme aims to build capacity in countries seeking to improve risk management, supply chain security and trade facilitation in seaports, land-borders and airports to prevent the cross-border movement of illicit goods.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the Government of Japan and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme.

Article in Russian language 


For more information, please contact Vasilina Brazhko (Ms.)

UNODC Communication and PR Specialist in Central Asia

At +996775987817 WhatsApp or Telegam or by

e-mail: vasilina.brazhko[at]