New customs regulations will strengthen fight against counterfeiting

Czech Republic

As of January 1 2015, the Czech Republic has introduced a new set of rules regulating customs measures, which are intended to combat counterfeiting on the internal market.

The new regulations are in line with the external border measures governed by EU Regulation 608/2013 concerning customs enforcement of IP rights. The new Czech regulations have introduced forms and requirements for applications for action similar to those set forth in Regulation 608/2013, including detailed information on genuine goods (see Article 6(3)(g)(h)(i) of the regulation).

For Czech Customs to be able to detain suspected counterfeit goods within the country’s borders, trademark holders must file a separate application for intra-border customs watch. Once such customs watch application is in place, Customs may detain goods ex officio within a period of one year, which can be extended each year before the expiration date. Once goods suspected of infringing IP rights have been detained by Customs, a procedure similar to that available at EU level is envisaged by the intra-border customs regulations, including a simplified procedure for the destruction of the goods, following the expressed or implied consent of the holder of the infringing goods. However, in contrast to Regulation 608/2013, the small consignment procedure is not available under the Czech intra-border customs watch system.

The introduction of intra-border customs watch measures is a welcome novelty that will enable IP right holders to combat counterfeiting more effectively on the internal market in the Czech Republic. Czech Customs' anti-counterfeiting actions are very efficient and this new set of rules, similar to those introduced at the EU level, will most likely make a strong impact on the trade in counterfeits and other infringing goods.

Andrej Bukovnik, PETOŠEVIĆ, Ljubljana

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