ICC BASCAP comments on Proposed Amendments to the Singapore Customs

ICC BASCAP comments on Proposed Amendments to the Singapore Customs

Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is pleased to submit the comments below in response to the Ministry of Finance and Singapore Customs’ request for Public Consultation for Proposed Amendments to the Customs Act in 2017.

ICC BASCAP is committed to stopping the global problem of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy, protecting intellectual property (IP) rights and strengthening IP enforcement.

BASCAP members, which include some of the world’s most successful multinational companies, appreciate and recognise the outstanding work of the Singaporean enforcement agencies dealing with counterfeiting and piracy. We commend the Singapore Government for the efforts to amend the Customs Act to improve enforcement and the operational efficiency of the Singaporean Customs. We also commend the Government for strengthening Customs control of FTZs.

While we welcome the move to improve enforcement and efficiency of Customs, our members are concerned that the proposed amendments to Section 39 and Section 41 of the Customs Act of 2017 allowing for the discretionary submission of shipping manifests will weaken Singapore’s ability to control the flow of counterfeit goods into Singapore and to prevent the transhipment of counterfeit and pirated goods through Singapore.

The negative impact of the trade in counterfeit goods cannot be understated. A recent report from Frontier Economics, commissioned by ICC BASCAP and the International Trademark Association (INTA), indicates that the global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach US $2.3 trillion by 2022. The report also estimates that counterfeiting and piracy will also lead to the loss of an estimated 5.4 million jobs globally. The value of counterfeit goods in Singapore is estimated at $269.3 million. Our research report is based on recent findings by the OECD. The OECD reported that Singapore’s ports are the leading transhipment destinations for ships originating in the two jurisdictions that produce 82% of the world’s counterfeit goods exports.