Amendments to Law on Customs Measures enter into force

The amendments to the Macedonian Law on Customs Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights came into force on May 14 2013.

The most significant novelty is that seized counterfeit textile goods and footwear may be donated to socially disadvantaged people and residents of regions affected by natural disasters.

The law prescribes that the goods can be donated only once the trademark owner has given its consent and the trademark has been removed from the goods. The competent authority will also have to confirm that the goods meet the relevant safety requirements.

The costs of transporting and warehousing the goods, as well as the costs of removing the trademarks, will be covered by the state. The procedure will be conducted under the supervision of the trademark owner's representative and Customs officials.

If it is not possible to remove the trademark without permanently damaging the goods, or if the trademark owner does not consent to the donation, the goods will be destroyed.

The amendments also foresee fines for repeat offenders ranging from €2,500 to €5,000 (approximately $3,300 to $6,500) for legal persons and €500 to €1,000 (approximately $650 to $1,300) for natural persons. The fines will be imposed in cases concerning the export or import of counterfeit goods bearing a trademark that was subject to a previous seizure in which the same legal or natural entity was involved.

Zivka Kostovska-Stojkovska, PETOŠEVIĆ, Skopje

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