New Customs Enforcement Regulation
With effect from 1 January 2014, the new Customs Enforcement Regulation 608/2013 (Regulation) gives customs authorities extended powers to detain counterfeit or pirated goods at the borders of the European Union.
The Regulation is intended to increase the scope of protection for rights-holders, as well as reducing the administrative burden on them.
The most significant changes from the previous Counterfeit Goods Regulation (1383/2003/EC) are:
- The new Regulation expands the list of protected IPR to cover trade names, semiconductor topographies, utility models, devices to circumvent technological measures and non-agricultural geographical indications.
- It is now compulsory for customs to arrange the destruction of small consignments of counterfeit and pirated goods (without a need to commence infringement proceedings) across all IPR where the declarant or holder of the goods (here the importer) agrees to their destruction. Customs authorities may deem that the importer has agreed to destruction where they have not explicitly opposed destruction within 10 working days (or three working days in case of perishable goods) of notification.
- A procedure has been introduced to allow small amounts of counterfeit and pirated goods to be destroyed without the need for the explicit agreement of the rights-holder. The rights-holder may still be required to pay the costs incurred, however, and will have opted in to the procedure when filing his Customs Monitoring Application in the first place.
- Further changes for the future (early 2015) include a new centralised electronic database, requiring customs authorities in each EU member state to exchange information and improve lines of communication between them. This will provide another layer of protection for rights-holders.
There are two new forms for rights-holders to complete:
1. Application for action; and
2. Extension request.
Please click here to access copies of the forms: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_controls/
Written by David Cran and Rachel Griffiths