Fake or counterfeit goods are goods which infringe an intellectual property right. Using reliable trademarks, dishonest members of the international market make financial losses to the holders of the rights selling similar products at a lower price. Frequently financial means earned in such a way are used for financing terrorism. It should be mentioned that fake goods might cause damage to health or even life of the consumer by using, for instance, counterfeit medicine or knockoff electronics. With special care recognizable brand goods for children should be chosen.
The current trend is selling fake goods on the internet and sending them to private individuals via post or express postal services. Purchasing brand goods on the internet, it is highly recommended to examine reputation, proposed quality of the goods and the price for which the goods are offered to the buyer as well. It should be borne in mind that, while purchasing on the internet, brand goods frequently are offered at a significantly lower price than original brand goods. It is important to know that the significant price gap serves as one of the factors signifying that goods are fakes.
Tasks of customs authority in the protection of intellectual property rights are determined in Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 (hereinafter ― Regulation No 608/2013). In accordance with Regulation No 608/2013, customs may suspend the release of goods suspected of infringing an intellectual property right. As laid down by Regulation No 608/2013, an opinion on whether the goods infringe an intellectual property right is provided by the holder of the specific intellectual property right or the authorised person.
If within 10 working days, or three working days in the case of perishable goods, the National Customs Board of the State Revenue Service (hereinafter ― National Customs Board) receives an aforementioned opinion, which justifies that the intellectual property rights are infringed, the National Customs Board takes the measures regarding destruction of goods.
Regulatory enactments concerning customs action in the protection of intellectual property rights:
- Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003;
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1352/2013 of 4 December 2013 establishing the forms provided for in Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights;
- Cabinet Regulation No 468 of 8 August 2017 “Regulations on Separate Types of Customs Controls”.