The powers of customs authorities in Europe
Published on: 28 August 2014
by Ms. Clemence Le Cointe, Trademark Lawyer at Dennemeyer & Associates, Munich
Recital 5 in the preamble to European Council Regulation No 1383/2003 of July 22, 2003, concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain IP rights, and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights, stated that “action by the customs authorities should involve, for the period necessary to determine whether suspect goods are indeed counterfeit goods, pirated goods or goods infringing certain intellectual property rights, suspending release for free circulation, export and re-export or … detaining those goods.”
The basic procedure was that if within ten working days of receipt of the notification of suspension of release or of detention, the customs authorities had not been notified that proceedings had been initiated to determine whether an IP right had been infringed or had not received the right holder’s agreement where applicable, release of the goods should be granted or their detention should be ended, as appropriate, subject to completion of all customs formalities.
The new regulation
The new European Regulation No 608/2013, dated June 12, 2013, which entered into force on January 1, 2014, concerning customs enforcement of IP rights and repealing Regulation 1383/2003, clearly marked an increase in the powers of the customs authorities and introduced, among other things, the right of customs authorities to destroy small parcels without having to obtain the consent of the IP right holder every time.
This power is applicable when the owner of the IP rights requests customs intervention and allows the customs administration to proceed to the destruction of small parcels without being asked for authorisation. However, this procedure still requires the consent of the declaring party or the proprietor of the parcel in that case.
Please read the full article on the World IP Review magazine website.
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