Philippines Customs faces regular criticism for failing to intercept counterfeit goods at the borders. See here for their usual methodology. However a seizure in January 2014 gives IP holders hope of a genuine attempt to police the borders.  Three 40-foot freight containers were imported, declared as ladies’ sandals, bags and swimwear.The Philippine Bureau of Customs inspected and impounded them at Manila International Container Port on January 2nd. The cargo was in fact fake Levi’s jeans, fake Adidas apparel and several other branded apparel products.

This week the owners and the import broker face charges for smuggling. The case is being transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The charges are importing nearly P64 million worth of counterfeit clothing items from China. The cases were filed against the two owners of Manila Port area-based trading company Clucky Trading, and also its Manila based broker.

Customs seem to be on a drive to improve, principally against smuggling, a widespread problem in the Philippines. The hope is that as more smugglers are caught, more fake goods will be intercepted. This may lead to more effective border seizures, and related IP prosecutions.