The annual GAC Awards were instituted in 1999 to recognise exceptional work in the international campaign to protect IPR and combat the illicit trade in counterfeiting goods.
South African Customs was recognised by the Global Anti—Counterfeiting Network Group (GACG) and awarded the Highly Commended for National Public Body Award at the fourteenth annual Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards in Paris on the 14 June 2012. The South African Customs attaché in Brussels, Mr Coffet Lebepe received the Award on SARS’s behalf. In his respond to the award, Mr Lebepe indicated that SARS will continue this fight, not only against counterfeiting, but also against the pirated goods, as he was the chairperson of the of the WCO Counterfeiting and Piracy Group for the past two years. Other Nationals Awarded included Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property, and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) was awarded the International Public Body Award.