Customs enforcement of intellectual property rights

A new customs regulation came into effect on 1 January 2014, which strengthens the powers of customs officials to detain suspected counterfeit and pirated goods at EU borders. It also introduces a new procedure for the treatment of ‘small consignments’. There are important differences from the previous regime, which rights holders need to be aware of.

As previously, the new customs regulation applies to infringing goods being imported or exported across the external borders of the European Economic Association. Customs check for potential infringements by comparing the information provided by the rights holder with that provided by the importer. Where they suspect an infringement, customs will detain the goods. Customs will invite the rights holder to inspect the detained goods and to provide a written opinion as to whether the goods are counterfeit or pirated and the reasons why they infringe.

In common with most EU member states, the UK operates a ‘simplified procedure’ as an alternative to infringement proceedings. By this procedure, the rights holder may secure consent for destruction of the goods from the declarant. There is a presumption of consent if the declarant fails to respond to such a request. Customs will release the goods if proceedings have not been initiated or a settlement reached within 10 days…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Walker Morris

View more briefings from Walker Morris

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer


Kings Court
12 King Street

Turnover (£m): 42.50
No. of lawyers: 188