TODAY IS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017, 2:48:24 AM
VISUALLY VERSION
Customs control of goods, comprising proprietary articles

The 26th of April – the International Intellectual Property day, which was instituted by the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Michel Danet, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) presented data, stating 500 billion US dollars as the value of the adulterated commodities turnover. The Russian customs service shares the World Customs Organization’s concernment (WCO) with global dimension of the infringement production problem, and supports broadening of efforts, aimed at ensuring of protection of intellectual property rights.

On the entry into force of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation maintains the customs register of proprietary articles. While registering its trademark, a copyright holder shall be entitled to demand to discontinue release of goods. This type of efforts has proved to be highly effective. As of January 1, 2008, the register included 980 trademarks, nearly half of them being possessed by Russian copyright holders.

In the year of 2007, announced by the World Customs Organization as the year of struggle against infringement production, the Russian customs service authorities identified over 10 million items of infringement production, which is thrice in excess of the same figure of 2006. Moreover, 1500 administrative violation cases were brought before the court. For reference: in 2004 - 154 cases; in 2005 – 350 cases, in 2006 – 1600 cases. Pursuant to Article 14.10 of Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (illegal use of trademark) 1383 legal proceedings were instituted, and thereby about 80% of the cases were related to the trademarks, included into the register. Pursuant to Part 1, Article 7.12 of Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (violation of intellectual and allied rights), 117 administrative violation cases were brought before the court, all of them in respect of proprietary articles, not included into the customs register. 

Major goods, arrested in connection with cases related to illegal use of trademarks, were food products, confectionery, sporting clothes and footwear, perfumery. As far as violation of intellectual and allied rights is concerned, customs officers trace counterfeited CDs and DVDs.
For example, in October in the framework of checkout measures, aimed at protection of intellectual property rights, the officers of the Nizhniy Tagil Customs service together with the Line Internal Affairs Department officers in the course of inspection of one of the Nizhniy Tagil shopping space, distributing CDs and DVDs, found that some of those discs were bearing marks of infringement production, and 5400 video discs with recordings of various films. In November, at the Lesozavodsky customs station the attachment was placed on a consignment of goods, imported from China by a Khabarovsk resident. During customs clearance the Ussouriysk Customs officers traced commodity items bearing marks of infringement production: 1336 calculators with the CASSIO and 780 calculators with the SITIZEN trademark, 1600 KODAK photo camera films, 6000 SONY computer floppy discs. Another shipper conveyed to Russia sporting clothes, bearing the Adidas, Puma, Karra, Umbro trademarks: jackets, sporting suits and trousers at total amount of 1346 pieces. Both cases resulted in commencing of administrative violation suits subject to Article 14.10 of Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation, and in seizure of false representations. 

In 2007, the RF Customs Code draft amendments were prepared and agreed with ministries and agencies concerned with the purpose of accretion of power of customs authorities in respect of discontinuation of release of goods suspected counterfeited without applications filed by copyright holders (the “ex officio” principle).

In July, 2007, the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation and the Federal service for proprietary articles, patents and trademarks signed the Agreement of Cooperation. The regional customs administrations and central customs houses were granted access to the databases of the state register of trademarks, service marks and names of goods declaration points of the Federal service for proprietary articles, patents and trademarks.

By the Order No. 714, dated 08.06.2007, issued by the Federal Customs Service, the FCS Administrative Regulations were approved in respect of execution of the public function of considering applications, filed on account of measures taken by customs authorities and related to seizure of goods release as well as maintenance of the customs register of proprietary articles. 

Shortly before entry into legal force, beginning from January 1, 2008, of Part 4 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, dedicated to protection of intellectual property rights, in 2007, regional workshops on protection of intellectual property rights were held Pskov, Saratov, Tuapse, Kursk, Vladivostok and Barnaul. The All-Russia workshop was held on protection of intellectual property rights (in Magnitogorsk) for customs authority officer with participation of copyright holders, representatives of the federal assembly of State Duma of the Russian Federation, officials of the Prosecutor-General’s Office and Rospatent. This has made it possible at the beginning of 2008 to avoid problems in law-enforcement practices and retain highly efficient activities, carried out by  customs authorities in respect of protection of intellectual property rights under the new law in operation.