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Cablegate: Special 301: Customs' Response to Iacc

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 001551

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EB/TPP/MTA/IPE - SWILSON/JURBAN AND EUR/SE DEPT
PASS USTR FOR JCHOE-GROVES
DEPT PASS LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FOR STEPP
DEPT PASS USPTO FOR JURBAN AND EWU
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/DDEFALCO AND JBOGER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD KIPR TU
SUBJECT: Special 301: Customs' Response to IACC
Submission


NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

REF: Ankara 1085

1. Econoff met with Cahit Gokcelik, Deputy Director
General, Customs General Directorate, and Hulya Erbay,
Customs Expert, on March 15 to discuss the International
AntiCounterfeiting Coalition's (IACC) Special 301
Recommendation on Turkey. (The Recommendation alleged
that the Turkish Customs Undersecretariat requires
companies to pay USD 20,000 to provide anti-counterfeit
training, although the IACC later backed away from this
allegation. However, in a March 3 letter to the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Officen, IACC President Timothy
Trainer complained that member companies were required
to arrange anti-counterfeiting training through a
private entity (the Foreign Investors Association -
Turkish acronym YASED). Trainer urged the USG to obtain
assurances that companies would be able to deal directly
with the Turkish Customs Undersecretariat on training
issues.)

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2. Gokcelik maintained that the Customs U/S does not
receive fees charged by the organizers of anti-
counterfeiting training. Furthermore, he asserted that
Customs is also concerned that the organizers of the
training not use this as a profit-making opportunity.
He said that Customs has viewed YASED, a non-
governmental organization representing foreign
companies, as a natural partner in organizing such
training. However, Customs is open to alternate
arrangements and welcomed a U.S. Embassy role in
organizing future training. However, he stated that
Customs would prefer to deal with groups of companies,
rather than with individual firms, to save time and
effort in organizing these functions. Erbay identified
herself as the point of contact for training.

3. Econoff told Gokcelik and Erbay that he would report
Customs' response to the IACC letter, and would ask
Washington agencies to reassure the IACC that YASED
and/or other private entities do not have a monopoly in
organizing training for the Customs U/S. He suggested
that the American Business Forum Turkey (ABFT) could be
approached on future training.

4. Erbay provided Econoff with data on Customs'
enforcement activities since 2000. She stated that
there had been 334 operations since then, of which 126
had resulted in court cases. In 58 enforcement actions,
most of them ex officio, the goods were released since
the rightholder did not file a court case within the
required 10 days. Philip Morris and British American
Tobacco were the companies for which the greatest number
of counterfeit goods, mainly from China, were seized.
Edelman

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