Taxation and Customs Union



The customs authorities of the EU Member States have been enforcing IPR on the basis of EU legislation since 1986. At present, the legal basis for EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights is Regulation (EU) No 608/2013.

Simplify, clarify and enforce

Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 (see page 15) of 12 June 2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) replaces Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 is the applicable legislation at this moment.

This regulation provides procedural rules for customs authorities to enforce intellectual property rights with regard to goods liable to customs supervision or customs control.

Regulation (EU) No 608/2013:

  • specifies the range of IP Rights and infringements that are covered;
  • contains provisions for right holders on how to ask protection to customs;
  • determines procedures for customs to follow in case of identification of goods suspected of infringing an IPR;
  • provides provisions for cooperation and exchange of information between customs and right holders;
  • 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)