Is Custom Recordal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) available in Belize?
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs compulsory in Belize?
Is it an effective measure to stop the infiltration of illegal and counterfeit products in Belize?
Which law forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Belize?
The Trade Mark Act Cap. 257 and the Customs Regulation Act form the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Belize.
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs effective on import or export of goods or both?
There is no procedure to record with the customs. However, the proprietor of trademarks may send a notice to the Comptroller of Customs to deter infringing imports and exports.
What is the role of the customs department/authority? (Kindly give 2-3 points)
The awareness with respect to IPRs has been very recent in other departments. Therefore, the role of the customs has elaborated with time and their role has extended to combating piracy, counterfeiting, and general infringement of IPRs. Therefore, they act in furtherance of the notice generated by the proprietor of IPRs to intercept and forfeit the goods of infringing nature.
Is there a procedure to record IP with the customs department/authority? If yes, then kindly explain it in brief.
There is no procedure to record IPRs with the customs. However, the proprietor of a registered trademark or a licensee, may give a notice in writing to the Comptroller of Customs inclusive of the details related to the infringing shipment and articles to be subjected to such measures.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
The proprietor is required furnish all documents, which shall help establish the reliability on the notice, including the document of registration of the IPR, other pieces of evidence, receipt of payment of fee and security, any other incidental or supplementary document.
Is the applicant required to execute a bond (against all liabilities and to bear the costs towards destruction, demurrage, and detention charges incurred till the time of destruction or disposal) with the customs department/authority for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
What is the time frame for the customs department/authority to notify the applicants whether their application (for custom recordal of IPRs) is registered or rejected?
The same has not been specified in the Acts.
Does the customs department/authority have a centralized system or the Custom Recordal is required to be done with each port of entry in Belize by land, sea, and air?
The customs authority has a centralized system; therefore, the recordal is not required to be made at each port of entry in the country. A single notice may be made.
Is there an online system for Custom Recordal in Belize?
There is no system of recording the intellectual property rights with the customs through an online medium. The request has to be made through a written notice.
What is the official fee for Custom Recordal in Belize?
What is the term of Custom Recordal of IPRs? Can it be further renewed?
The notice given to the Comptroller of Customs shall remain effective for the consignment being notified against for the mentioned timeslot and place.
Does the customs department/authority have a right to conduct raids and seize the counterfeit goods within Belize?
In which scenario does the customs department/authority suspend the clearance of imported goods?
The customs authority suspends the clearance of the imported goods when it finds, in furtherance of the notice made by the proprietor of trademarks, that the goods alleged of infringement curtail the rights vested in the rights holder under the law on trademarks and customs.
Who bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods?
The applicant must bear the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods.
Is the IP rights holder authorized to examine the goods, the clearance of which has been suspended?
Is the IP rights holder authorized to request the information about the personal details of the importer and additional crucial piece of information concerning the consignment, which has been suspended from clearance?
Can the importer or the authorized representative of the goods, which have been suspended from clearance, request the information of the IP rights holder in question?
Within what timeframe the IP rights holder needs to confirm whether the goods are counterfeit or original after suspension?
Is the IP rights holder required to produce an injunction order or evidence of court proceedings to detain the goods?
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then what is the deadline to do so?
Does the IP rights holder need to pay an additional bond for the detention of goods?
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then to what extent and how is the valuation calculated?
The requirement with respect to any bond or security is made attributable to the registrant in accordance with the directions of the Comptroller of Customs keeping in mind the adequate security, which may be needed in respect of any liability or expense that the Comptroller may incur in consequence of the notice by reason of detention of any article or that may be needed to indemnify the Comptroller against any liability or expenses, which may include any other incidental or supplementary matters as well.
In the scenario where the goods detained or seized are found to be infringing the IPRs of the IP rights holder in question, what steps does the customs department/authority take?
If the goods detained or seized are found to be infringing the IPRs of the IP rights holder in question, the goods are treated as prohibited goods by virtue of the trademarks act and they shall be considered forfeited.
Does the customs authority invite the right holders and importer to join the proceedings? Are there any consequences of failure to join such proceeding, if any?
Before disposal/destruction of infringing goods, does the rights holder need to submit a ‘no objection’ or concurrence document?
Are there any disadvantages of Custom Recordal of IPRs in Belize? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
There is a lack of proper system of recording the IPRs with the customs, which invites difficulty in enforcing the rights by using customs as a mode of urgent redressal or to prevent the infringing acts before they actually cause damage to the proprietor.
If an IP rights holder is not satisfied with the action taken by the customs department/authority, can he/she initiate separate legal proceedings to enforce his/her IP rights?
To establish if the goods are counterfeit before the court of justice, will the affidavit by the IP rights holder suffice or any other documentary requirement is there?
Upon conclusion of proceedings before the Court of Justice, what are the possible remedies awarded by the court?
Is the rights holder under an obligation to inform customs authority when his Intellectual Property Right ceases to be valid/ he ceases to be the owner of such IPR?