Toronto, ON — CSA International, in cooperation with the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and other anti- counterfeiting experts, has launched the Canadian Anti- Counterfeiting Network (CACN), a new coalition that focuses on the prevention and elimination of counterfeit and pirated goods in Canada.
“Counterfeiting can kill, and no person or nation is exempt from the dangers posed by the proliferation of counterfeit products,” says Doug Geralde, chair, CACN. “Counterfeiting negatively impacts virtually every market sector, from children’s toys to pharmaceuticals, from household appliances to aircraft parts. And now, for the first time in Canada, a national coalition of stakeholders has united to combat product counterfeiting and copyright piracy.”
It has been estimated that the annual Canadian market for counterfeit products is worth billions of dollars. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), counterfeit products are easier to manufacture and import than some illegal narcotics, and the profit margins are far higher, while the risks are much lower. Criminals have come to realize that the prospect of jail time is low because law enforcement is often limited only to specific complaints pertaining to sections of the Copyright Act or allegations relative to the fraud provisions in the Criminal Code.
For this reason, the RCMP points out, virtually all major organized crime groups are now involved in product counterfeiting.
Despite the multi-billion-dollar impact on the Canadian economy and the adverse impact on individuals and governments, most countries are ahead of Canada in recognizing and addressing counterfeiting and piracy. CSA International and CACN believe that enforcement, legislation and justice are key ingredients in the battle against counterfeiting, as are secure borders, public and private partnerships, and the integration of resources.
“Counterfeit products are a serious and often deadly threat to individuals and a liability risk to industry,” says R.J. Falconi, vice- president, general counsel and corporate secretary, CSA Group. “CSA International is very active in anti-counterfeiting initiatives, which is why we have chosen to [join] with other Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network members to help reduce Canada’s escalating trade in counterfeit products.”
The CACN’s first action to raise public awareness was the unveiling of a new national poster campaign. The four posters are part of the CACN’s “Operation Fake Free” campaign to communicate that selling counterfeit products: is illegal; may lead to loss of life, funds organized crime; and can cost Canadians their jobs. The posters will initially be distributed to retailers and manufacturers by CACN and can be seen online at www.cacn.ca.
CACN will also maintain and share information regarding counterfeit cases, developments and emerging trends with law enforcement and the private sector and will establish and strengthen ties with other organizations with similar objectives in Canada and internationally.
CACN has significant backing from a broad range of industries and looks to gain additional support as it moves forward. Current members include: Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada; Baker and McKenzie LLP; Calvin Klein Inc.; Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating; Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters; Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association; Canadian Recording Industry Association; Canon Canada; CSA Group; Daniel Ovadia; Eaton Cutler-Hammer; Electro-Federation Canada; Fenton, Smith Barristers; Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP; I.E.Canada, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters; IDGlobal Corporation; IPSA International; King-Reed & Associates Inc.; Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP; Microsoft Canada; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; Ogilvy, Renault; Pfizer Inc.; Schneider Electric; Smart & Biggar; Symantec Corporation; and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada.
While, all members of CACN are private sector stakeholders, the coalition also works in close collaboration with government and regulatory authorities, including the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, Health Canada and the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority. For example, in addition to providing advisory council to CACN on law enforcement issues related to counterfeiting, the RCMP is active in supporting the “Operation Fake Free” public awareness program and will distribute the educational posters through its regional offices.
CACN can be found online at www.cacn.ca. CSA International can be found online at www.csa-international.org.