The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has inked an agreement with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to prevent the transport of intellectual property (IP) infringing goods and raise awareness on the prohibition of traveling with counterfeit items.
The IPOPHL said the partnership comes amid the rise of “revenge travel” with the loosening of pandemic curbs.
“As we see no signs of the revenge travel easing, MIAA stands as a relevant partner to IPOPHL in ensuring tourists or returning residents observe our IP laws,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The IPOPHL chief said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) assures that IPOPHL has MIAA’s full cooperation in ensuring “IP-safe” travels.
Barba said “safe” would mean that destinations are safeguarded from counterfeit goods. “We achieve this by jointly developing efficient measures to thwart the importation, exportation and sale of such goods through and at the airport, all the while keeping in mind the convenience of our travelers,” the IPOPHL chief said.
Moreover, under the MOU, IPOPHL, in coordination with other member agencies of the National Committee on IP Rights (NCIPR), will provide MIAA staff with training to strengthen their understanding of IP laws, rules and regulations and capacities in identifying counterfeit goods.
“Together, MIAA and IPOPHL will share critical information and statistics to monitor the movement of counterfeit goods and help other enforcement agencies in their surveillance and investigation of identities involved in IP infringement to the extent permitted by the Data Privacy Law of 2012,” the IPOPHL statement added.
Under Section 118 of the Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariffication Act (CMTA) of 2016, IP infringing goods as defined by Republic Act 8293 or the IP Code, are prohibited from being imported and exported. Any person who violates the CMTA could face penalties of P100,000 to P300,000 and/or imprisonment of 31 days to one year.
At present, IPOPHL said, the warning of bringing in IP infringing goods is only part of various declaration forms at the entry points of the airport.
“We hope we can conduct joint IP awareness activities, and put up more information materials on IP in the airport that are highly visible to the public,” Barba said.
MIAA is a government-owned and controlled corporation and agency under the Department of Transportation. It is responsible for managing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport formerly Manila International Airport.