Taxation and customs union

The role of customs

Trade in goods infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) is of great concern, and the European Union is fully committed to effectively enforcing these rights and promoting higher standards of protection worldwide. Most of the counterfeits and other IPR infringing goods available in the EU have been manufactured in a third country. To prevent these goods from being imported, customs has a key role.

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.

Every day, by preventing IPR infringing goods from entering the EU market, customs contribute to economic growth, the fight against organised crime and the protection of the health and safety of millions of consumers. Customs, however, cannot succeed in the fight against IPR infringements without the active engagement of right holders. Learn more about how you can work with customs to protect your rights.