Ukraine’s New Customs Code Introduces Important Changes

May 29 2012 - 15:00

The new Customs Code of Ukraine, which enters into force on June 1, 2012, introduces significant changes in the customs watch procedure for the goods containing intellectual property objects.

The changes in the Customs Code contain both positive and negative provisions for the right holders.

Among the major changes are the following:

The mechanism of bails or bank guarantees, which the right holder had to deposit in order to cover customs authorities’ expenses, has been cancelled. Thus, the right holders are no longer obligated to deposit the bail in the amount of EUR 1,000 (USD 1,280) per each IP right. This simplifies the procedure of entering the IP rights into the Customs Register and reduces the costs for the right holders.

The list of IP objects that may be entered into the Customs Register for the purpose of customs surveillance has been extended. However, the new Code does not specify the procedure for entering the newly added IP objects into the Customs Register. The procedure for discovering and seizing the newly added IP objects during customs clearance is also not specified.

The customs authorities are now obligated to notify the right owner about the seizure of the goods on the same day, and not on the next day, as it was under the old Customs Code.

The rights owner has 10 working days from the seizure notification in which to file a claim with the court or other authority, or to file a request to extend the term of seizure. Before the changes were introduced, this time frame for filing a claim was 15 calendar days.

The new Customs Code introduces the simplified procedure for the destruction of seized goods. If the right holder and the importer reach an agreement, the goods may be destroyed without initiating a court proceeding. In this case, the importer is discharged from administrative liability. All expenses related to the destruction are to be covered by the right holder.

The amended Customs Code allows re-labeling of the goods that are infringing IP rights (eliminating infringing logo, label), provided that such actions are agreed upon with the right holder. All expenses related to such procedure are to be covered by the right holder.

It is important to note that the newly approved Customs Code discharges customs authorities from any liability in case they fail to discover the counterfeit goods. In other words, the right holder cannot claim any damages in case the goods entered into the Customs Register were not discovered and seized by the customs authorities.

Author: Elena Zubenko

For more information, please contact Elena Zubenko at our Ukraine office.

Source: PETOŠEVIĆ; the text of the new Customs Code

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