• (230) 4278861, 4260399

Custom Recordal of IPRs in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Custom Recordal of IPRs
Yes
No
Yes
The Customs Act, 2011 forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Sierra Leone.
The procedure is effective on imported goods, goods in transit, and goods destined for exportation.
The role of the customs authority is to act in furtherance of the application made to the customs. However, the customs may also act on their own motion where they suspect the imported goods may infringe upon the rights of a legitimate IP rights holder. Thereafter, it is the role of the customers to identify and detain allegedly infringing goods until and unless a final determination by the court of law is made.
The IP rights holder may submit an application to the customs –
  • Requesting the customs to suspend the clearance of goods suspected of infringing the rights in a registered patent, trademark, or copyright;
  • Requesting that the customs suspend clearance of goods that are suspected of infringing their copyright or related right; or
  • Requesting the customs to suspend clearance of goods infringing the intellectual property rights that are mentioned above, provided in case of geographical indications, the applicant must provide the evidence of the goods that proves that the goods are in violation of the national law in the country of origin.
Any application in respect of the goods infringing the intellectual property rights including protection defeating devices should be made in an approved format, which may include by electronic media, as may be prescribed by the Commissioner General, and should be accompanied, where appropriate, by the following:
  • Details concerning the applicant and appropriate contact information;
  • Where the applicant is an authorized representative, authorization from the rights holder in accordance with applicable law;
  • Adequate evidence of the existence and ownership of the valid intellectual property right;
  • A statement of the grounds for the application for border measures related to shipments in general;
  • In case of specific shipment of allegedly infringing goods, statement of the grounds for the application, including primer for Sai evidence showing that such intellectual property rights have been infringed or that the rights are about to be infringed or that the shipment contains protection defeating devices; and
  • Sufficiently detailed description of the goods in respect of which an intellectual property right applies, together where appropriate, with a sample of a genuine product.
Yes
Within a reasonable period of time, not exceeding 30 working days from the date of receipt of an application under the said clause of the customs act, the customs shall notify the applicant whether the application has been granted or rejected.
As per section 54 of the act, the customs shall establish a centralized system for managing the applications for the suspension of custom clearance.
The minimum duration for such assistance shall not be less than 01 year unless the applicant request a shorter period for assistance or applies for action in case of specific shipments.
Yes
Where the Customs authority finds that certain goods may be of infringing nature, the same are suspended until the final determination of the nature of those goods is made by the appropriate court of law.
The applicant bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods.
Yes
Yes
Yes
10 days
Yes
10 days
Yes
The Customs require an applicant to provide a security or equivalent assurance or undertaking, sufficient to protect the importer, consignee, consignor, exporter, or owner of the goods and the competent authorities. However, such security or assurance shall not be fixed at an amount, which would unreasonably deter recourse to these procedures.
The customs, within a reasonable time, inform the IP rights holder of such detention, after which, a suit had to be initiated by a party other than the defendant.
Yes, the customs authority invites the rights holder and the importer to join the legal proceedings within a period of 10 days. In appropriate cases, at the discretion of the officer, 10 days period maybe extended by an additional 10 working days. In the case of perishable goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights, the period shall be 03 working days.
No
Yes
The court may require submission of additional documents as may be needed to establish the fate of the allegedly infringing goods.
Upon conclusion of proceedings, the court may order disposal of such goods outside the channels of commerce and in such manner as to minimize the risk of further infringement. The customs do not allow re-exportation of infringing goods.
Yes