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EU Customs’ urgent call to rights holders of COVID 19 related products, to file customs applications for action (AFAs)

12 December 2020

As an outcome of the IPR enforcement discussions during the IPEP Forum, customs called to rights holders dealing with COVID‑19-related products, to file customs applications for action (AFAs).

The IP Enforcement Portal (IPEP) Forum, which brings together the IPEP user community of rights holders and enforcement authorities every 2 years to meet and exchange ideas and best practices, took place virtually on 1 December.
 
One of the outcomes of the discussions was the dramatic increase in postal consignments and resulting detentions of IPR-infringing goods related to COVID‑19.
 
Customs called to rights holders dealing with COVID-19 related products, to urgently file customs applications for action (AFAs) to provide customs with crucial information on logistics, packaging and IPR related to these products of high health interest.
 
This information will allow customs to take action against counterfeits at the EU’s borders.
 
One additional request to rights holders was to provide guidance on how to take pictures of detained products, so that they could tell whether a good is original or fake on receipt of these pictures and avoid additional visits to warehouses by customs officials, unpacking and repacking, which can be quite time-intensive.
 
In addition, in order to facilitate the notification of detentions through the ‘Suspicious Case’ functionality of IPEP, rights holders should make sure that the ‘Contact Points’ information in the tool is aligned with the enforcement contact information in the AFAs.
 
Rights holders who wish to electronically file their AFAs through IPEP are invited to contact the IPEP team at ipenforcementportal@euipo.europa.eu for any questions they may have.