Border alert system soon available

Argentina

Argentinean Customs has issued a new resolution that establishes a procedure to control the importation of counterfeit products into the country. This procedure includes a system of alerts managed by Customs on the basis of registrations by mark owners.

In 2004 the Argentinean Congress passed Law 25.986 that amended the Customs Code. Section 46 of this law set forth a ban on the import and export of products bearing forged trademarks from or into any destination. This ban was extended to all industrial and intellectual property rights.

In order to control incoming counterfeit products, the Tax Authority issued Resolution 2216 on February 20 2007. The resolution provides for the creation of a system of alerts managed by Customs and working on the basis of voluntary registration by trademark owners. Registration may be handled by a representative or attorney who must provide the following:

  • proof of ownership of the mark through a certificate issued by the Trademark Office;

  • the tariff customs classification under which the products are imported or exported;

  • the Customs through which genuine products are usually introduced; and

  • the name of the relevant representative or attorney.

If necessary, the applicant may also attach samples of genuine products.

Registration on the alert system is valid for two years and is renewable for further two-year terms.

Any imported products bearing a mark registered with the customs authority, other than the genuine registration, shall be detained for three days - a term during which the registered representative or attorney shall be able to examine the products.

If it is proved that the products are counterfeit, the trademark owner shall be entitled to start legal proceedings in the relevant courts and administrative proceedings before the customs authority.

The system will be effective as of April 3 2007. The customs authority is expected to clarify some operational aspects in the coming weeks.

Fernando Noetinger, Noetinger & Armando, Buenos Aires

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