Thailand announces new regulations for recording customs transactions and seizing counterfeit goods
27 September 2022
The customs recordation system and the customs processes for the seizure of fake and pirated products have been modified by the Thai Customs Department. On August 4, 2022, the Government Gazette issued the Customs Notification on the Export, Import, and Transit of Trademark- and Copyright-Infringing Goods, which became effective on July 29, 2022.
Under the new notification, both trademark and copyright owners can directly record their intellectual property information with the Customs Department as opposed to the past requirement that trademark owners seeking customs recordation record the pertinent information with the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).
According to Ploynapa Julagasigorn, a senior associate at Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand, there is a need for this new regulation because in the past Customs Departments could not contact some IP owners when infringing products were found or when there were delays from the rights owner’s side to verify the seized products.
"As many cases were pending verification by the IP owners, the seizure process was delayed," she says. "The new notification is thus issued to lessen the rights owner’s duty to verify the seized products and raise the efficiency of Customs seizures in Thailand."
She adds that there are several differences between the old and the new regulations as follows:
- Customs Recordation is filed with the Customs Department directly. The DIP no longer has to be the intermediary forwarding the Customs Recordation application from the rights owner to the Customs Department.
- Specific time frames for each procedure. The old regulation imposed no specific time frames; therefore, it lacked clarity in this aspect.
- Lessen the rights owner’s duties. The rights owner does not have to file a letter confirming that the goods are infringing in cases where the exporter/importer/transit person (or agent) admits that the goods are infringing goods or does not have to file an objection within three (3) days, if they cannot be contacted.
- Validity period. Customs Recordation will now be valid for three (3) years, and it can be renewed. Customs Recordation under the old system lasted indefinitely, as long as the trademark remained valid.
• Liability. The rights owners have the liability for any damage arising from the acts made in good faith by the Customs officers carrying out the inspection of the goods based on the rights owner’s information provided in the application or from an inspection request.
She adds, "The registered trademarks or patents will be protected as usual; however, in order for Customs to inspect suspicious goods imported into or exported out of Thailand, filing a Customs Recordation under this new system will be necessary. In addition, it will help Customs officers detect infringing goods more efficiently based on the information received from the rights owner."
"As the legislation has now changed, any previously recorded Customs Recordation will now be considered expired," she says. "Therefore, rights owners are encouraged to consider filing applications for Customs Recordation under this latest Customs Notification in order to be assured that their IP rights are being vigorously protected at Thailand’s borders."
- Excel V. Dyquiangco