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Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enforce intellectual property rights to facilitate businesses, promote foreign investment and mobilize greater resources for nation-building in the country.
"The signing of this MoU is a significant development as it allows FBR to use data maintained by IPO-Pakistan to crack down on illegal use of IPRs. It is also a tool for detecting original and fake border-trade consignments and curbing smuggling at borders," said Chairman FBR Mr. Tariq Bajwa while speaking at the signing ceremony at NTC Headquarters Islamabad. The MoU was signed by Director General IPO-Pakistan Engr. Aamir Hasan and Director General IPR Enforcement FBR, Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad Khan.
In his address, Mr. Tariq Bajwa said FBR had already framed IPR rules while the sharing of IPO data would help structure these rules which would be subsequently enforced with the help of a software system. He said Pakistan Customs was the guardian of Pakistan's borders against movement of contraband goods and facilitation of bona-fide trade. It was a major source of revenue to the Government of Pakistan in the form of taxes levied on goods traded across borders. Pakistan Customs was also endeavouring to protect domestic industry and movement of genuine goods through borders.
He said customs and regulatory duties currently amounted up to 15% of total receipts collected by the Federal Board of Revenue. He thanked IPO-Pakistan for signing the MoU and recordation of IPR data. He said the MOU would not only facilitate sharing of data but also open doors for creating awareness and imparting training about intellectual property issues and taking necessary measures for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. He said efforts would be made to coordinate with trade associations and other organizations for awareness on intellectual property rights and in extending mutual facilitation in inquiries, investigations and proceedings in IPR offences.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman IPO-Pakistan, Mr. Shahid Rashid said IPO-Pakistan had close collaboration with IPR Enforcement agencies including FBR to effectively address issues of piracy and counterfeiting in the country. Signing of this MOU with FBR is a milestone towards relentless enforcement drive at our borders.
IPO-Pakistan is the focal body of Federal Government for registration and protection of IP rights i.e. Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents and Industrial Designs. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) through its enforcement arm (Pakistan Customs) is responsible for border measures against piracy and counterfeiting. Both organizations recognize the need for coordination to effectively carry out their statutory responsibilities, and maintain oversight in IPR enforcement, in line with Government's policy of trade facilitation and compliance with international treaties. This (MOU) covers data sharing and cooperation in areas of regulatory and supervisory actions.