Good news for mark owners: counterfeit perfumes destroyed for the first time

Serbia
  • Serbian Customs destroyed over 1.4 tons of counterfeit perfumes bearing famous marks
  • Until now it had not been possible to destroy counterfeit perfumery goods in Serbia
  • Destruction resulted from joint effort by several trademark owners

On 26 June 2018 Serbian Customs destroyed over 1.4 tons of counterfeit perfumes bearing the marks LANCOME, ARMANI, CHANEL, DIOR, CHLOE, KENZO, CALVIN KLEIN, PRADA, BOSS, VERSACE, BURBERY, DIESEL, BVLGARI, GIVENCHY and JOOP, among other brands, in Dimitrovgrad (a town close to the border crossing with Bulgaria). This is an important development, as for many years it had not been possible to destroy counterfeit perfumery goods in Serbia, even when the Serbian courts ordered their destruction.

Serbian Customs are quite active in seizing counterfeit goods and most of the cases are processed using the simplified procedure, whereby the goods can be destroyed without a court order. To use the simplified procedure, the following is necessary:

  • the trademark owner must confirm that the goods are counterfeits and request their destruction under the simplified procedure; and
  • the holder of the goods must not object.

Until recently, Customs had been reluctant to destroy perfumery products due to potential environmental implications. However, a solution was recently found for counterfeit perfumery goods stored in Dimitrovgrad. In a joint effort by several trademark owners, the goods first underwent laboratory analysis, during which they were categorised as hazardous waste. Subsequently, the trademark owners hired Yunirisk, a company licensed to transport and destroy hazardous waste, to transport the goods to its premises in Belgrade and destroy them there. The costs of the laboratory analysis, transport and destruction were shared among the trademark owners.

It is hoped that these actions, which represent an important development in customs enforcement in Serbia, will set a new trend in the destruction of counterfeit perfumery goods in the country.

Gordana Pavlovic, Cabinet Pavlovic East Europe, Brussels and Belgrade

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