Is Custom Recordal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) available in Romania?
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs compulsory in Romania?
Yes, where notifications are based on the suspicions of Customs and no intervention request has been filed, the rights holder has 03 working days to file such a request in response to the notification.
Is it an effective measure to stop the infiltration of illegal and counterfeit products in Romania?
Which law forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Romania?
They laws are as follows:
The EU Regulation 608/2013 (concerning customs enforcement of IP rights);
The EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EC);
The EU Regulation 2015/2424; and
The EU Directive 2015/2436 (to approximate the laws of member states relating to trademarks).
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs effective on import or export of goods or both?
Custom Recordal of IPRs is effective both on the import and export of goods.
What is the role of the customs department/authority? (Kindly give 2-3 points)
The customs authorities are at a constant lookout for infringing goods. The customs on finding or suspecting infringing goods are responsible for their detention and also for further communications in such regard to the rights holder and the infringer.
The customs officers also send the minutes concluded between them and the warehousing firms to the rights holders. These minutes include the costs for warehousing and the monetary value of the goods as declared by the counterfeiter.
Is there a procedure to record IP with the customs department/authority? If yes, then kindly explain it in brief.
The rights holder or his representative must lodge in writing an application to the General Customs Directorate, mentioning the status of his IP right and requesting the suspension of customs clearance and the detaining of the infringing goods.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
The application must contain information concerning the applicant, power of attorney, number and date of the OSIM certificate, detailed information regarding the identification of the genuine goods, including photos or samples, the place of manufacture and identification of the authorized importer respectively exporter, and the following information regarding the suspect goods:
Description, photos or other graphic representation, samples if possible, countries of origin and/or place of export, identification of the person involved in the importation or exportation, if possible, the customs office, where it is anticipated that the suspect goods will be presented, and the anticipated date of presentation of the suspect goods to the customs.
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?
Within 10 days from the registration of the application, the Directorate will notify the applicant the acceptance or the need for additional documents or supplementary information.
If the application is rejected, the reasoned decision may be appealed to the competent legal authority (according to the new law on jurisdiction this should be the Bucharest Municipality Court). In case of acceptance and based on proof of payment of the equivalent of 100 Euro, the application becomes effective.
Does the customs department/authority have a centralized system or the Custom Recordal is required to be done with each port of entry in Romania by land, sea, and air?
Yes, it is a centralized system.
Is there an online system for Custom Recordal in Romania?
What is the official fee for Custom Recordal in Romania?
There is no official fee.
What is the term of Custom Recordal of IPRs? Can it be further renewed?
The application is valid for 01 year and may be renewed further for another year before the termination of the earlier period.
Does the customs department/authority have a right to conduct raids and seize the counterfeit goods within Romania?
In which scenario does the customs department/authority suspend the clearance of imported goods?
Based on the effective application, the authority suspends the customs clearance and retains the goods that are infringing the intellectual property rights. The measure is notified to the applicant and to the person making the customs declaration.
Who bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods?
The applicant bears 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?
The IP rights holder needs to confirm whether the goods are counterfeit or original after suspension within 10 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 (may be extendable by another 10 days, if authorized by the Directorate).
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?
Before suspending the release of or detaining the goods, the customs authorities may ask the holder of the decision to provide them with any relevant information concerning the goods. The customs authorities may also provide the holder of the decision with information about the actual or estimated quantity of goods, their actual or presumed nature, and images thereof, as appropriate.
The customs authorities shall notify the declarant or the holder of the goods of the suspension of the release of the goods or the detention of the goods within 01 working day of that suspension or detention. Where the customs authorities opt to notify the holder of the goods and two or more persons are considered to be the holder of the goods, the customs authorities shall not be obliged to notify more than one of those persons.
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?
If the importer does not respond to the request or objects to the destruction, the consignment will be released, unless the trademark owner brings civil proceedings within 10 days.
Before disposal/destruction of infringing goods, does the rights holder need to submit a ‘no objection’ or concurrence document?
It may not be needed if both parties, i.e., the infringer (importer) and the rights holder, agree that the goods are infringing in nature.
Are there any disadvantages of Custom Recordal of IPRs in Romania? 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 documents as may be demanded by the court may be needed.
Upon conclusion of proceedings before the Court of Justice, what are the possible remedies awarded by the court?
The possible remedies awarded by the court include penalties and damages, including the legal cost (approx. with a fine from 30.000.000 lei to 50.000.000 lei), and destruction of 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?