Is Custom Recordal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) available in Croatia?
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs compulsory in Croatia?
Yes. For seeking customs protection and surveillance, the rights holder must file an application. If the infringing goods are identified without the presence of the application, the authorities request a written application to be submitted within 03 days.
Is it an effective measure to stop the infiltration of illegal and counterfeit products in Croatia?
Which law forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Croatia?
The Decree in Customs Measures Relating to Goods Infringing Intellectual Property Rights of May 2006 and amended in 2007 forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Croatia. The Decree is harmonized with both the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003 and the Commission Regulation No. 1891/2004.
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs effective on import or export of goods or both?
Custom Recordal of IPRs is effective only on the import of goods.
What is the role of the customs department/authority? (Kindly give 2-3 points)
The role of the Customs is to detect infringing goods in ex officio capacity or after receiving an application. It is also within their power to withhold or detain the infringing goods. The destruction, however, is dependent on the decision of the court.
Is there a procedure to record IP with the customs department/authority? If yes, then kindly explain it in brief.
Rights holders who wish to register with Croatian Customs need to find a legal representative in Croatia. It should be a lawyer or a law office. They should then file an Application for Action, which should be forwarded to the Customs through the legal representative in 02 original copies along with the following documents mentioned in the next answer.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
The documents to be submitted are as follows:
Power of Attorney;
A statement according to Article 9 of the Croatian Customs Regulation NN 52/06 and 82/07, signed by an authorized person, stamped, notarized and then apostil led; and
A proof that the applicant is the owner of the rights (a listing from the relevant IPR database proving that the IPR is registered or recognized in Croatia).
Along with the required documents, the Customs prefers to have on file other useful information regarding the original and potential counterfeit products (production sites, routes, distribution network, both legal and if known illegal, identity guides, "how to recognize fakes" information, etc.).
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?
After receiving the required documents, the Customs will grant the application for action within 01 month (quite often within a week).
Does the customs department/authority have a centralized system or the Custom Recordal is required to be done with each port of entry in Croatia by land, sea, and air?
Yes, it is centralized.
Is there an online system for Custom Recordal in Croatia?
A written application is to be made.
What is the official fee for Custom Recordal in Croatia?
What is the term of Custom Recordal of IPRs? Can it be further renewed?
The validity period is 01 year, but the applicant can ask for an extension of another year. The Customs can grant one-year extensions indefinitely.
Does the customs department/authority have a right to conduct raids and seize the counterfeit goods within Croatia?
In which scenario does the customs department/authority suspend the clearance of imported goods?
If a customs office, in the course of customs supervision or checking of goods, namely customs procedures and treatment, after consulting the rights holder, where necessary, establishes reasonable suspicion that the goods matching the description of the goods listed in the decision granting the request infringe an intellectual property right, then the customs office shall temporarily suspend further application of the requested customs procedure or treatment, and without delay notify the Central Office of the Customs Administration thereof in writing.
Who bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods?
The costs relative to the destruction of goods, shall be borne by the consignee, in accordance with the customs regulation on the destruction of customs 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?
The requester shall, within the period of 10 working days from the date on which he received the decision granting the temporary detention of goods, notify in writing the Central Office of the Customs Administration. This time limit may be extended for further 10 working days.
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?
10 days (extension may be sought)
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?
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?
The Central Office of the Customs Administration shall, without delay, issue a decision on the temporary detention of the goods concerned, and shall communicate it to the requester and declarant or the holder of the goods, and the competent customs office, which, on the basis of the decision it receives, shall place the goods concerned in the temporary detention.
If there are grounds for suspicion that the goods subject to customs treatment have been used in the commitment of a criminal offence or a misdemeanour, the Customs Administration shall inform thereof the Ministry of the Interior or the State Inspectorate, respectively.
Does the customs authority invite the rights holder and importer to join the proceedings? Are there any consequences of failure to join such proceeding, if any?
Yes, the parties are requested to initiate court proceedings that finally adjudicate upon the nature of the goods and pronounce the final order.
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 Croatia? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
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?
Other relevant documents may be needed (as required by the court).
Upon conclusion of proceedings before the Court of Justice, what are the possible remedies awarded by the court?
Possible remedies awarded by the court include destruction of goods or suspension of detention of alleged infringing goods.
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?