Simplified Customs procedure applicable as of beginning of 2012

A new decree concerning goods suspected of infringing IP rights came into force in Montenegro on July 16 2011 and will be applied as of January 1 2012.

The new decree makes it possible for IP rights holders to destroy goods seized by Customs without first having to initiate court proceedings. To be able to destroy the infringing goods, the written consent of the owner of the goods is sufficient.

In addition to the explicit consent of the owner of the goods, the decree also introduces the possibility of relying on implied consent - namely, if the owner does not object to the destruction of the goods within 10 days of the receipt of the Customs notification, it will be deemed to have given consent. The destruction will be carried out at the IP rights holder’s expense.

The former decree, which is still in force until the end of the year, requires that the IP rights holder obtain a court decision in order to proceed with the destruction of infringing goods. It currently takes up to one year to obtain a court decision.

Another novelty is that the Customs watch application must be followed by a statement - in written or electronic form - in which the IP rights holder accepts responsibility for the damages which may result from its actions or omissions, or if it is subsequently determined that the goods do not infringe its IP rights. This statement obliges the IP rights holder to bear all expenses for the storage and maintenance of the seized goods.

Jasna Jusic Paovic, PETOŠEVIC, Podgorica  

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