IP enforcement and the EU customs regime
Produced in partnership with Baker McKenzie
IP enforcement and the EU customs regime

The following IP practice note Produced in partnership with Baker McKenzie provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • IP enforcement and the EU customs regime
  • The requirements of the Customs Regulation and changes from the previous system
  • The extent of the counterfeiting problem
  • The IP rights covered
  • IP enforcement in the UK after Brexit
  • Rights granted to customs
  • The simplified procedure
  • Liability of the rights holder
  • Small consignments procedure
  • Timing
  • More...

This Practice Note considers Regulation (EU) 608/2013 (the Customs Regulation), which replaced Regulation (EC) 1383/2003. This Practice Note:

  1. examines the requirements of the Customs Regulation

  2. considers the impact of Brexit upon UK rights holders

  3. considers how the regime has changed from the previous EU customs system, and

  4. provides practical guidance on formulating a border detention strategy and completing the 'application for action' (AFA)

The requirements of the Customs Regulation and changes from the previous system

The Customs Regulation extends and develops many of the features of its predecessor, Regulation (EC) 1383/2003. Many of the basic principles however remain the same.

In summary, the Customs Regulation grants powers to customs authorities in all EU Member States to seize and destroy products which are found to infringe certain IP rights. See below for details of the IP rights covered.

Customs authorities are granted powers to seize goods they suspect infringe IP rights of rights holders that have recorded those rights with the customs authorities. However, once detained, it is for the rights holder to certify that the products in question are infringing. If this is confirmed, then the customs authorities can permanently detain and destroy the products.

The extent of the counterfeiting problem

The UK Intellectual Property Office reported on the impact of customs enforcement activity in its IP Crime and Enforcement Report 2018/2019. It noted that as much as 3.3%

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