9% of world trade, 12% of the global toy market, 10% of world market of perfumery and cosmetics, 5 to 10% of European car spare parts market, an annual turnover estimated at 500 billion euros, counterfeiting is all this … and more. It penalizes innovation and undermines consumer safety.
The counterfeit products are dangerous. At best, a false medicine does not treat; at worst it exacerbates the disease. Dangerous toys put children at risk. False products ignore cosmetic allergies; sunglasses do not filter, and finally false spares harm the car and make it a threat to pedestrians.
Tunisia is, as many countries, probably all countries of the world, pays a heavy price for this phenomenon which, like a steamroller, sweeps everything in its path: jobs, tax revenues, consumer health and safety and above all a scourge for the economy.
Having taken due consideration of the phenomenon, government banned any tolerance for anything that might resemble to counterfeiting and piracy, even though pockets of this traffic may still mar the market notwithstanding the fact that the economic control is involved in fighting counterfeiting so as its action resulted in more 20 000 visits, the seizure of more than 4.6 million products and over 1,650 fines since 2006.
These figures were disclosed by the Secretary of State for Commerce, Chokri Mamoghli at an information day held on Monday, at the Utica premises. The meeting, however, has not attracted large crowds of professionals, who are the most involved among the galaxy of “victims” of piracy in the country. Their assistance was nevertheless once again requested to overcome or at least tighten as much as possible this phenomenon.
But the State took upon itself to lead a strategy based on a legal framework constantly renewed as well as on a work of persuasion and awareness likely to result in a genuine mobilization involving civil society organizations, the media, consumers businesses and above all the judiciary as evidenced by the decision of criminalizing offenses related to counterfeiting by the introduction of criminal sentences (from one to six months of prison and fines ranging between 5 and 20 000 dinars) in addition to raising the financial penalty minimum from 5000 to 10 000 dinars.
The issue is to promote a culture of intellectual property including, for example, the protection of layout-designs and integrated circuits, trademarks , industrial designs, and most recently the creation of a national board for fight against counterfeiting
It is a structure tasked with providing advice on the national fight against counterfeiting, coordinating between the various authorities and agencies involved in the implementation of action plans in control , information, sensitizing and regional and international cooperation.
Above all, the boardl will be mandated to participate in the development of legislation on the fight against counterfeiting and to give its opinion on draft laws and regulations that are referred to the subject, to monitor and evaluate the implementation of fight against the phenomenon of counterfeiting, to collect information and propose mechanisms to develop external cooperation in the fight against counterfeiting.