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Customs and Excise Department

Defend your rights

Customs administrations are in the frontline to enforce intellectual property rights at the EU borders. In order to effectively carry out their task, customs need the active engagement of the right-holders themselves. Co-operation is the most effective weapon: thanks to the information provided by the right-holders, customs may identify more easily goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) and take the necessary action.

As a right-holder, you can defend your rights by asking customs to detain goods found to be suspected of infringing IPR.
In order to do so, you should lodge an application for action with the competent customs department requesting them to take action.

Be aware that as of 15 September 2020 all applicants and representatives who want to submit a new application for action and all holders of decisions and their representatives who want to amend or extend their existing applications for action must have an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number).

Economic operators and other persons need also to possess an EORI number to access the future IPR EU Customs Trader Portal (as of the end of 2021 all applications for action, requests for amendments or extension must be submitted electronically via the EU or a national portal).

In order to obtain an EORI number, applicants and representatives need to contact the competent customs authority for EORI registration in the country where they are established. See also the TAXUD EORI information website. The application for action can be a national or Union application depending on the intellectual property rights' basis. A Union application for action when granted in one EU Member States has the same legal status in all other Member States, where action was requested for in that application.

Application form for action
Extension request
Manual for the completion of applications for action and extension requests + annexes
For right holders trading with China, a specific User Guide exists

Submission of important and urgent information

In addition, two forms have been elaborated in close collaboration with industry. The aim is to provide a mechanism to notify the relevant customs administrations swiftly, in a clear structured way about specific information or general trends concerning suspected IPR infringing goods.

These forms should be sent to the relevant contact point

• "RED ALERT" form, to be used to notify customs about urgent, specific information
• "NEW TRENDS" form to be used to notify customs about new trends

Useful links and background information

Directorate General for Trade
Directorate General Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
IPR Helpdesk
China IPR SME Helpdesk
Facts and figures page
EUIPO enforcement portal

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