The Interface Public-Members (IPM) platform, the World Customs Organization’s unique tool in the fight against counterfeiting, became operational in 2011 and has already seen many improvements since its conception.
From the basic functionality of a genuine and fake database, featuring pictures and basic descriptions of products, this has now developed to a more complex system offering additional options, including the ability to send alerts to Customs officers, an e-learning feature and a mobile application launched last year.
The WCO is pleased to announce that the IPM tool has been redesigned and that the new platform, both Web and mobile versions, was made available to WCO Members on 4 September 2015.
The changes are both architectural and visual, and were based primarily on feedback collected from all stakeholders. Particular emphasis has been put on offering users the ability to search a product simply by scanning the barcode and, when available, verifying a product using security features. This functionality helps Customs officers access actionable information intuitively and efficiently.
“We encourage our IPM Customs members to make as much use of the new platform as possible and return comments and suggestions to the WCO. We endeavour to continuously improve and tailor the IPM tool to Customs officers’ needs and requirements” said Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General.
The redesign of IPM Mobile includes a selection of new functionalities such as the new “Alerts & News” sections, allowing the WCO to keep all IPM members up-to-date on what is happening in the fight against counterfeiting. Moreover, the “Alerts” can now be used for important communications by the rights holders and Customs administrators. With this redesign, information from other platforms and sources linked to IPM can also be displayed.
The Web interface now makes it easier to switch from one section to another effortlessly and allows actionable information to be visible in a quick and intuitive manner. Another important new feature is the analytics page which can be accessed directly on the IPM Web platform.
The section “Routes” has undergone important changes as well. The new IPM platform now includes an interactive map, which gives Customs officers an instant overview of the given routes genuine products are supposed to follow.
Additionally, fields that have not been populated will not appear in the interface, which thereby gives the user a more streamlined overview of the information available. New fields have now been added such as “Recognized Importers/Exporters”.
Over the past year, a global network of track and trace and authentication solutions has been integrated into IPM. Consisting of over 20 Security Solution Providers (SSP), this feature known as IPM Connected, is vital in the fight against counterfeiting as it provides immediate and reliable product authentication.
The functionality has therefore been enhanced in the new IPM mobile platform to become a focal point when consulting a product. If a product contains a secure traceability feature, the “Verify” functionality will automatically appear and if a product is not secured, Customs officers will be able to notify rights holders and post comments.
The mobile application “WCO IPM” is available for both Android and iOS operating systems on Google Play and App Store respectively. It can be downloaded free of charge by all WCO Members and can be accessed only by IPM members.