Businesses call for support to address counterfeit products

National

By CLARISSA MOI
BUSINESSES in the country want the Government to support the PNG Customs Services to address the issue of counterfeit products entering the country. City Pharmacy Ltd Group chairman Sir Mahesh Patel said the company had strict guidelines considering the surge in the creative industry and a surge in counterfeit products entering the market. He said the company took the issue of copyright infringements seriously and Customs needed to put its foot down to address the issue. “The Government needs to give the right tools and materials to support Customs to monitor that,” Sir Mahesh said. “We design PNG independence shirts and laplaps, and within months we see counterfeits out of China selling on the street market for one third of the price.“So, there is really no protection at the moment. “I believe if Customs is given the right resources and whatever is required to control that, they can easily take it down.” Brian Bell Group chairman Ian Clough in agreement said there was a big need to crack down on the issue. Clough however noted that it was up to the Customs to enforce regulatory requirements to tackle ths issue, as well as enforcement at entry points of imports. “We can have all the policies we like in incredible organisations like CPL and the Brian Bell group but ultimately we rely on the agency (Customs) to enforce all these regulatory requirements around copyright infringements,” he said. “We have just started selling some PNG-designed fabric and we are very careful what we put on our shelves to ensure it meets all those requirements but equally protecting the brands. “Any retailer needs support in terms of enforcement. And it’s good to have the framework, we absolutely need to have penalties that reflect the damage that these people are doing.”

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