Colombia vs. Counterfeiting
On October 25, 2016, the Sectional Directorate of Customs of Barranquilla, in coordination with its Operational Group of the Division of Fiscalization Management, confiscated smuggled merchandise in different sectors of the Metropolitan Area of Barranquilla, valued at USD 144,530,000.
According to U.S. officials, Colombia is ranked in the top five of counterfeit countries in relation to the value of seized counterfeits. This is a result of the government’s limited resources and the country’s complex socio-political issues. For these reasons, the suppression of counterfeiting operations in Colombia is as complicated as in the fight against drug traffic.
During the year 2013, over 10 million people were economically affected by the purchase and use of fake goods in Colombia, losing an income of up to $ 720M due to the counterfeiting of their products. As a result, the Colombian government has launched the campaign “Whatever you do, play fair,” in an attempt to raise awareness among the Colombian population about this problem and in order for them to purchase original products, support new creations and respect copyright.
As the penalties from the government for this illegal activities are not significant, the companies themselves have to take action to protect its products. Particularly, companies in the pharmaceutical, music recording, computer, electronics, and software industries have encountered widespread piracy and counterfeiting of their products over many years. In these regards, it is highly recommended that companies request the advice of IP law firms on these issues to avoid being plagued by this problem.