Border Control Law

The relevant legal framework governing customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is undergoing amendments, both at the national and EU level.

Customs protection covers the following IPRs: patents, trade marks, industrial designs, geographical indications, designation of origin and copyrights, trade names (insofar as they are protected as exclusive property rights under national law), topographies of semiconductor products, and utility models and devices.

The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that customs authorities are able to enforce IPRs with regard to goods which are liable to customs supervision or customs control, and prevent the breach of IPR laws. Customs may suspend the release of or detain the goods, whether at their own initiative or upon application, if they suspect, on the basis of reasonable indications, that goods under their supervision infringe IPRs.

In order to obtain this form of protection, an application needs to be filed by the IPR holder with Customs Headquarters. This application may be either national or Union-wide, and may cover national, Union, or international IPRs. The information to be completed in the Customs application is extensive and detailed, and sufficient time should always be dedicated to its completion. Once approved, an application is valid for one year, and will need to be renewed at least one month before the expiry date.

Customs also conduct random market searches. If goods are found on the market that are suspected of infringing the IPRs of a rights-holder (provided a Customs application is in place), then Customs seize such goods and inform the contact person(s) designated on the application.

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