What the new customs regulation means in practice

By Roland Mallinson and Lorna Caddy

The European Parliament and the European Council have adopted a new customs regulation, replacing Regulation 1383/2003/EC. The new regulation will come into force in January 2014.  

The new regulation provides the framework for the customs authorities of EU member states to deal with infringing/counterfeit products passing through the relevant customs, either on the application of a right holder or on discovery by customs authorities through routine inspections.

The key changes include: extension of the remit to other types of intellectual property rights (including trade names, semiconductor topographies and utility models); making the accelerated procedure to secure destruction without a court order compulsory in all EU member states; provisions to address the growing problem of counterfeits imported by post or courier in small consignments; and relaxation of the rules (applied with varying strictness around the EU) about the use by rights holders of information learned from customs officers…

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