SINGAPORE PUTS LIMITS ON OPTICAL IMPORTERS

SINGAPORE PUTS LIMITS ON OPTICAL IMPORTERS

Singapore has announced two legislative amendments, one of which permits only registered manufacturers to import some optical disc equipment for use in Singapore, said Tang Guen Seng, senior parliamentary secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

He said the amendments were part of Singapore's efforts to protect intellectual property.The Regulation of Imports and Exports Act will now permit only registered manufacturers to import optical disc mastering and replication equipment.

The second amendment involved ''the Control of Manufacture Act (which) will be amended to include CD, VCD, CD-ROM, DVD and DVD-ROM as controlled items,'' Mr. Seng said.

This means that these items can be made in Singapore only by licensed manufacturers. Companies wanting to make these products have to apply to the Economic Development Board for approval.

Meanwhile, nine optical disc manufacturers signed a code of conduct to ensure a high standard of compliance with Intellectual Property Rights protection in Singapore.

''The government takes a serious view of intellectual property piracy. We will not hesitate to adopt further measures to address problems and trends in piracy,'' he said.

The code of conduct signed affirms the optical disc makers' commitment to cooperate with and give feedback to IPR owners and the government to help prevent piracy of copyright materials.