Panama's customs service signs anti-piracy agreement with IFPI Latin America
March 8, 2005
Panama’s Customs organisation has signed a cooperation agreement with IFPI Latin America that will step up anti-piracy actions in Panama, and help stop the movement of pirate traffic into Latin America.
Panama, a music market with a tradition of talented artists and songwriters, is effectively a transhipment point for blank CD-Rs into the region. IFPI Latin America estimates that around 40 million units of blank CD-Rs come into Panama every year. Some remain in the country while the rest are transported on to Columbia and other Central and South American countries.
The agreement, between the General Directorate of Customs for the Republic of Panama and IFPI Latin America, was signed on February 15. It recognises the growth of piracy, its negative impact on the culture and economy of individual countries and the need for more effective controls.
IFPI invests substantial resources in training customs officials internationally. Under agreements with the international police body, Interpol, and the World Customs Organization, customs and police officers in many countries are trained how to identify and investigate pirate music product.
The Panama agreement provides for the exchange of statistical data and information; training by IFPI of customs agents on piracy and intellectual property issues; and the creation by Panama Customs of a specialised intellectual property unit to fight piracy, with technical assistance from IFPI.
Raul Vazquez, Regional Director, IFPI Latin America said: “Panama’s Customs Service has confirmed a real commitment to fighting piracy by entering into this cooperation agreement. This kind of partnership between industry and government has proven effective in dealing with intellectual property crime. We can offer the expertise to help Customs determine the legality of product entering and leaving the country.”
Julio Kennion, General Director of Panama Customs said: “The Government of Panama supports agreements with private industry and recognizes the need to combat international contraband of any type of product.”
IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with over 1,450 members in more than 75 countries and affiliated industry associations in 48 countries.
For further information please contact: