On 4th February 2005 the Spanish Tax Authorities submitted a new Plan for preventing Tax Fraud to the Government. This new Plan establishes specific measures for controlling specific imports from Asia, as well as fighting against the black market in trademark counterfeiting and the smuggling of CD and DVD recorders.

These measures include (i) establishing specific Customs screenings to detect highly risky imports, deemed to consist of counterfeit products (ii) taking actions in specific industrial estates in areas where, according to the information resources, business activities have not been declared (iii) reaching cooperation agreements with business associations affected by this particular type of fraud, such us, tobacco companies fighting against tobacco smuggling and associations for the defence of Intellectual Property Rights.

The new plan establishes specific measures against the black market in counterfeiting and smuggling

A first cooperation agreement was signed in November 2005 with the international association Business Software Alliance (BSA) and then, in December 2005, with the Spanish Association for the Defence of Trademarks Rights (ANDEMA).

Both cooperation agreements aim to facilitate the exchange of information between the Tax Authorities and the rights owners, so as to prevent or to fight fraudulent activities.

Among other means of cooperation, the agreements provide for training Tax Authorities staff about protected rights, as well as for rendering technical support and professional advice to the Tax Authorities to confirm possible Intellectual Property Rights infringements.

Another action in the same vein is the setting up of a new Inter-sectorial Committee against the infringement of Intellectual Property rights (Royal Decree 1224/2005, 13 October 2005).

This new Inter-sectorial Committee is expected to provide coordination between Public Administrations and private organisations for the defence of Intellectual Property Rights. Therefore, new agreements with national or international organisations for the defence of IP rights are expected to be reached in this institutional framework.

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