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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poland Signs Deal To Combat Piracy

WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's chief customs officer said Wednesday he had signed deals with Western manufacturers that are the first of their kind in Eastern Europe aimed at blocking imports of cheap copies of name-brand clothing, computer software and other goods.

The head of the Main Customs Office, Zbigniew Bujak, said the agreements with 11 Western companies and anti-piracy groups calls for customs officers to get special training from manufacturers on how to spot fakes.

Companies such as Levi Strauss, Nike and Microsoft will share "their secret knowledge so that customs people can easily tell bootleg copies from authentic goods," he said.

The agreement also calls for swift exchanges of information on sales figures. A drop in sales of a Western product, for example, could indicate the appearance of cheaper imitations on the market.

Since the collapse of communist rule, Poland has struggled to erase its reputation as a relatively easy place for bootleggers to sell cheap copies of Western clothing, CDs, sports shoes and software.