New Law on Customs Measures Enters into Force in Macedonia

Jun 29 2015 - 11:09

The new Law on Customs Measures for Protection of Intellectual Property Rights entered into force in Macedonia on June 5, 2015.

Under the new law, the representatives no longer have to notify the declarants/importers and seek their consent for destruction. Once the Customs notifies the declarant/importer that the goods have been temporarily detained, the declarant/importer has 10 working days to either oppose or consent to the destruction. If the declarant/importer fails to respond within the 10-day period, this will be taken as tacit consent.

The deadline for acting on ex-officio detentions was also changed to 4 working days, instead of 3 working days, as was the case before.

One of the most notable changes is the newly prescribed “small consignments procedure”, which is handled ex-officio by the Customs. Small consignments are defined as consignments that contain three units or less or that weigh less than two kilograms. The right holder can request the small consignments procedure by selecting this option on the Customs Watch Application. In such case, if a certain small consignment looks suspicious to the Customs, they will detain the goods and inform the declarant/importer that the goods are considered to be counterfeit and that they plan to destroy them. The declarant has 10 working days to either oppose the destruction or consent to it. If the declarant fails to reply, the goods will be destroyed (tacit consent).

The law also introduces a novelty with respect to the Customs Watch Application. Instead of filing separate CWA for each trademark, the right holder should now be able to file one application covering different trademarks. However, the bylaws in this respect have not been adopted yet and this change has not been implemented in practice. According to the law, the bylaws should be adopted by August 4, 2015.

It is also prescribed that the CWA can be granted for a maximum period of one year, which in theory leaves room for granting CWAs on a case-by-case bases, but in practice, they are granted for a period of one year.

There are also some changes to the procedure for donating counterfeit goods to socially disadvantaged people and residents of regions affected by natural disasters. According to the new law, the Government will decide if certain counterfeit goods should be donated (textile goods and footwear) and the Government will also cover the costs of the procedure. The right holder would only have to confirm that the trademarks have been successfully removed before the goods are donated.

By: Darko Bajalski

For more information, please contact Darko Bajalski at our Macedonia office.

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