World Customs Organization (WCO)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, that develops rules on customs procedures, provides technical assistance to Member States, classifies goods for the application of tariffs, and drafts standards and holds conferences to strengthen IPR enforcement.


At its June 2006 Council sessions, WCO Member States approved the S.E.C.U.R.E. standard (provisional Standards to be Employed by Customs for Uniform Rights Enforcement), to coordinate a “global effort to suppress all kind of intellectual property rights infringements.” 

S.E.C.U.R.E. instructs Member States to make use of other WCO tools for the suppression of counterfeiting and piracy, including the WCO Model IPR Legislation, which contains provisions for, among other things, examination of goods by rights holders, compensation in the case of wrongful detention of goods, the duration of Customs surveillance over suspected infringements, and the provision of information, including evidence of right ownership and the grounds for suspicion. 

Goverment Documents

Text of the S.E.C.U.R.E. standard for IPR enforcement through customs is available here.

9 June 2008.  Report of the SECURE working group, World Customs Organization Policy Commission, 59th session.

Recommendation of the Policy Commission to the Customs Co-Operation Council on agenda item VI (“Combatting of counterfeit and pirated goods”), Proposal submitted by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Uruguay.

Document on the "Report of the SECURE Working Group" (SP0269E1), submitted by Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, People's Republic of China and Uruguay.


3 February 2008. "Fourth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy Opens in Dubai," WIPO Press Release. 

Related News Stories 

27 June 2008. Kaitlin Mara, "Member Nations Balk At World Customs Organization IP Enforcement Push," Intellectual Property Watch.

25 April 2008. William New, "Clash Over World Customs Organization Efforts On IP Enforcement," Intellectual Property Watch. 

16 April 2008. Viviana Muñoz Tellez, "The World Customs Organisation: Setting New Standards of Intellectual Property Enforcement through the Back Door?" South Bulletin, Issue 13, pages 6-8.