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Function jointly hosted by the Motion Picture Association, Hong Kong Theatres Association and the Motion Picture Association Asia Pacific Operations to thank the Customs and Excise Department for the pro-active combat against film and audio/video piracy

17 August 2001

Ms. Louisa Chan, Mr. Chui Hin-wai, Mr. Sam Ho, distinguished guests, colleagues,

First I would like to express my gratitude, on behalf of the Customs and Excise Department, to the Motion Picture Association, Hong Kong Theatres Association and the Motion Picture Association Asia pacific Operations for jointly hosting this function and presenting a souvenir plaque to Customs in recognition of our officers' achievements in combating copyright infringement and piracy activities. It is my great pleasure to receive the honour on behalf of the Customs and excise Department.

Under our stringent enforcement actions, piracy activities have been kept under control in Hong Kong. In the first half of this year, the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau and the Special Task Force have processed a total of some 5 300 cases of copyright infringement, arrested 723 persons and seized pirated goods worth over HK$88 million. This represents a notable increase of 126% in the cases processed over the same period last year.

We are also delighted to see that the film industry, once threatened by the piracy business in the past few years, is thriving again. In particular, several films newly-released this summer holiday have shown a box-office success. This not only reflects the public's recognition of the hard work of our film practitioners, but also proves that film piracy has been shrinking in Hong Kong. We deeply believe that our perseverance and diligence in combating infringement of film and other artistic works will undoubtedly strengthen the confidence of local and overseas film-makers, who will provide more films for the entertainment of the local audience. We will screen a short film in a while so that all of you can have a better understanding of the way Customs is handling illicit optical disc production lines.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the industry for their support to Customs, including their assistance in verifying the authenticity of the seized articles and giving evidence in court. Their support has enabled Customs to make remarkable achievement in the combat against piracy with half the effort.

Customs' achievements in combating piracy are no fluke. Our success in enforcement actions hinges on the efforts of all Customs officers, especially the front-line officers who have to pursue and apprehend pirates day and night. Their professionalism and devotion to duty are indeed praiseworthy. It is my great honour to lead such an outstanding Customs and Excise Service.

Lastly, I would like to assure all of you that we will continue our stringent enforcement efforts on eradicating the remnant infringement and piracy activities.

Thank you.

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