New measures against counterfeiting and piracy reach the European Parliament


The European Parliament debated on June 10th, a future regulation on customs and the protection of IP rights. 

One of the reasons for this position of the Council is that almost 115 million of counterfeit products were intercepted by the custom authorities in the EU in 2011. In order to avoid similar situations in the future, the members of the European Parliament have suggested a regulation system that enhances the custom controls and prevent the access of pirated products to the EU-market.

Thus, the future new Regulation will contemplate a simplified procedure for the destruction of the counterfeit goods without the requirement of a court order, “provided that the copyright owner agrees, and the importer does not object”.

Likewise, the Regulation proposal establishes a specific proceeding in the assumption of consumers who receive small quantities of counterfeit products via postal service. One of the requirements for applying this proceeding is that counterfeit products weight less than 2 kilograms. In such circumstance, the consumer will have to destroy the goods within a period of 10 days.

This proceeding gives certain advantage to those receiving pirated products, since they will not have to pay any taxes for the storage of the goods during that 10 days period given for destroying the goods.

However, these rules have an exception concerning the transit of medicines. In this regard, the European Parliament estimated that generic drugs coming from legitimate trade between countries out of the EU, can only be seized when it is possible that these products end up in the European Market.   

This proposal of new Regulation intends to provide clearer rules concerning the destruction of illegal and eventually dangerous products entering and moving all around the EU. Nevertheless, it will not affect either the rules on the protection of Intellectual Property, or the non-profit products transported by travellers. In the coming months the effectiveness of the proposed measure will be proven, and we will see if the new Regulation achieves the goals for which it has been created.

Written by Antonio Torres

Image: Cédric Puisneyunder creative commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0)


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