The World Customs Organization has a unique position in respect of national customs authorities. Providing Customs with the best available tools to combat counterfeiting and piracy is at the core of the WCO’s strategy. In 2010, the WCO introduced the Interface Public-Members (IPM), an online tool serving as an interface between frontline Customs officers and the private sector. Since then, over 60 countries have joined and around 3,000 Customs officers are now connected to IPM.
IPM is the only global anti-counterfeiting tool: it allows operational data concerning products to be communicated directly to Customs officers on the ground, facilitating the identification of counterfeit goods.
What is it?
IPM is an online and mobile application enabling right holders to provide Customs officers with real-time data on their products. Customs officers can access this information anywhere in the world via a simple and secure interface available in their national language. IPM can also be considered as a permanent training tool: Customs officers can log on to its e-learning facility at any time and learn about a variety of products, brands and the distinguishing features between counterfeit and genuine products.
Who uses it?
IPM is made freely available for all 179 Member Customs administrations. Our objective is to ensure that as many frontline Customs officers have access to the tool as quickly and efficiently as possible. Right holders who have joined IPM, also have permanent access to the tool and are encouraged to update constantly information on their products.
How to use it?
IPM is a web-based tool, accessible with a login and password via a dedicated and secure interface. IPM can also be integrated to existing intranet systems, further facilitating rapid access. IPM is now availalble on mobile devices.
The latest version of IPM offers new features such as the possibility to use mobile devices to scan barcodes found on millions of products, enabling to search the products database in a more time-efficient manner. The unique product identifier embedded in the barcode will facilitate access to multiple databases providing trusted sources of product information. Furthermore, scanning the barcodes will enable automatic connection to any authentication services linked to the product controlled.
In this view, the WCO has launched IPM Connected, a global network of track&trace and authentication solutions interfaced with IPM. Collaborating with traceability and authentication technologies will strengthen the WCO's operational power: Custom officers scan the barcode and if the product is secured by a track&trace or authentication solution, IPM automatically launches the application, allowing them to instantly verify the authenticity of the product.