Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Singapore's role in the counterfeit goods trade highlighted

Singapore is one of the world's largest ports and supposedly the world's largest transhipment port. A recent OECD report points the finger squarely at Singapore for having a major role facilitating the global trade in fake goods. As much as 2% of the world's fake goods are alleged to pass through the city state's port. Despite having a strong IP system, that protection stops at the wharves and docks. Transiting through Singapore, contributing revenues to government coffers and supporting global criminal enterprises, are millions of dollars of fake shipments. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the myriad of container ships parked offshore.

The government is however unwilling to discuss the situation, preferring like an ostrich to avoid the problem. After all they earn money from each shipment that passes through and the cost of inspecting or seizing illegal goods would be very high. Unfortunately this is believed to be only the tip of a far bigger illegal goods iceberg; that counterfeits are only one category of a vast array of much nastier illicit goods that pass through country's ports each year. As the criticism mounts eventually the ostrich will need to take notice.

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