The Minister of Trade Hon Tim Groser announced today that New Zealand will join other countries in signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at an official ceremony arranged by Japan in Tokyo on 1 October.
ACTA, which aims to curb the growing trade in counterfeit goods and pirated copyright works, covers countries representing half the world’s trade.
"New Zealand businesses and consumers face a growing illegal trade in counterfeit goods and pirated works - both goods crossing our border and in the digital environment. This new Agreement tackles these issues by strengthening international enforcement in a co-operative and balanced way."
"In a fast moving global environment we need to ensure that we are supporting our growing innovative and creative industries. New Zealand already provides robust, modern intellectual property enforcement procedures in line with those set out in the Agreement. This new Agreement means we can work more effectively with other countries in these efforts."
New Zealand hosted the eighth round of negotiations in April 2010, following which the draft ACTA negotiating text was publicly released. An event was also held to enable interested groups to meet the negotiators. There has been public consultation during the ACTA negotiations, which concluded last November with the finalisation of a text by negotiators.
Cabinet has formally approved New Zealand’s signature of ACTA. As is normal practice with international treaties, a separate decision to ratify ACTA will be made subsequently, the Minister said. This would require the Government to make some minor amendments to the Copyright Act 1994 and the Trade Marks Act 2002 and would be subject to the usual ratification process, including public consultation and scrutiny by Parliament.
The text of the agreement is available on the MFAT (www.mfat.govt.nz) and MED (www.med.govt.nz) websites.