25/10/2022-Operation OPSON is an opportunity for the enforcement of GI rights and the protection of consumers

On 18 October, oriGIn participated in the webinar “Operation OPSON and geographical indications”, organized by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) with the aim to raise awareness among law enforcement officials on the protection of GIs.

The “Operation OPSON” a Europol INTERPOL joint annual law enforcement operation targeting fake and substandard food and beverages, was presented. OPSON is coordinated by Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3). It involves law enforcement agencies, customs, and national food regulatory bodies, which conduct checks at shops, markets, airports and seaports to locate and confiscate counterfeit or substandard food products. During the operation OPSON X (concluded in December 2021), some 15,770 tons of illegal and potentially harmful products, with an estimated retail value of USD 63.584.846, 38, were taken off the market.  Animal food and alcoholic beverages were the most seized products. In the framework of OPSON a specific working group focusing on GIs has been established.

At the webinar, oriGIn was represented by Mr. Fernando Cano Treviño, Representative of the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT). In his presentation, Fernando highlighted the importance to strengthen the international cooperation between private and public stakeholders for an effective enforcement of GIs (CRT has been working in the framework of OPSON). He presented the experience of the GI “Tequila” in enforcement cases, in particular the CRT strategy for GI protection at customs, which provides   an innovative export certificate allowing the identification and full traceability of the authentic product.  The CRT presentation is available here.  

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