In view of its very large territory, Brazil has always faced many challenges implementing a successful anti-counterfeiting programme. Lack of a uniform approach and the absence of a political will to tackle IP infringements on a large scale were some of the problems that held IP owners back in the past.
However, a few recent developments have changed this landscape.
Adding to the standard surveillance activities at the harbours, the Federal Revenue has been expanding its enforcement activities by conducting raid actions in what are called secondary zones. These are raids against distributors on the streets. As an example, a massive raid prior to Brazilian Children's Day in October led to the seizure of 300,000 products in three states.
Moreover, we are now seeing an increased cooperation between enforcement authorities on a national and international level.
Firstly, the cooperation between the Federal Revenue, state police and city halls has enabled the development of joint raids in major cities like São Paulo. Such raids have led to the seizure of hundreds of tons of counterfeit products over the last couple of years and even to the closure of massive distributors.
In another recent joint effort, enforcement authorities from Brazil, the United States and Great Britain coordinated a massive operation against illegal streaming services in Brazil. Raids took place in 10 different Brazilian states, leading to 252 blocked websites and 65 removed apps.
Finally, after several years of political paralysis, the National Anti-counterfeiting Council (CNCP) which is a governmental department belonging to the Ministry of Justice dedicated to anti-counterfeiting regulation has restarted its activities and launched a couple of best practice guides aimed at challenging online IP infringements.
Consolidation of a national anti-counterfeiting policy is still a work in progress. However, the combination of recent efforts has had a positive effect in dismantling crime organisations behind counterfeiting and is turning Brazil into a safer environment for IP owners and consumers.
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