Taxation and customs union


Simplify, clarify and enforce

From 1 January 2014, Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 (see page 15) concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) replaces Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003. The new regulation provides procedural rules for customs authorities to enforce intellectual property rights with regard to goods liable to customs supervision or customs control.

The new regulation:

  • expands the range of IPR infringements covered
  • adjusts procedures in order to reduce administrative burdens and costs
  • ensures that high quality information is provided to customs so as to enable better risk management
  • includes measures to ensure that the interests of legitimate traders are protected

Commission notice on goods in transit

The European Commission has published a Commission notice on customs enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights concerning goods brought into the customs territory of the Union without being released for free circulation (see page 4) to provide clarifications on the application of Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 and the trade mark package (Regulation (EU) 2015/2424) with regard to goods coming from third countries without being released for free circulation, including goods in transit, through the territory of the EU.

The Commission notice replaces the "Guidelines of the European Commission concerning the enforcement by EU customs authorities of intellectual property rights with regards to goods, in particular medicines, in transit through the EU.

These guidelines addressed the specific concerns raised by India and Brazil on medicines in genuine transit through the EU which are covered by a patent right in the EU. They also take account of the findings of the Court of Justice of the EU in its judgment of 1 December 2011 related to joined cases C-446/09 and C-495/09 (Philips/Nokia).