Counterfeit products (IPR products)
Customs controls that goods entering, exiting and being transited through the country are not counterfeit goods or other products infringing on intellectual property rights or copyrights (IPR). The controls aim to protect citizens and society from products that are harmful to health and safety, and to protect society’s tax revenues and the economic interests of the right holder. The controls are based on a Regulation of the European Parliament and Council concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights.
The regulation defines, which procedures the customs authority must follow if it during a customs control or an inspection discovers goods, which are suspected of violating intellectual property rights or infringing on copyrights, especially regarding goods that are
- declared for release for free circulation, export or re-export.
- entering or leaving the customs territory of the Union;
- placed under a suspensive procedure, in a free zone or free warehouse.
Right holder: submit an application for action (AFA) to Customs
Customs mainly controls goods for which the right holder has left an application to Customs for operation in accordance with regulation (Application for Action (AFA)). The application is generally valid for one year, after which it can be renewed.
Customs can also, ex officio, stop products without an operation application.
An application for action is a form of a specified format intended for right holders or their representatives to provide Customs with information on their intellectual property rights for enforcement measures (Regulation (EU) 608/2013). An application may be valid in one or several member states.
You can submit your application free of charge. See the form (application for action (AFA)) and filling instructions on the Commission website.
You can email your application to ipr.decisions(at)tulli.fi. You can also mail your application to this address:
Valvontaosasto – Analyysi ja tiedustelu
Kaupallisten riskien hallinta
Changes to the processing of applications for action related to IPR enforcement – electronic applications for action to become mandatory in 2024
In future, applications for action (AFAs) in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 must be submitted electronically to Finnish Customs through the IP Enforcement Portal (IPEP) developed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Representatives and right holders have been able to use IPEP since December 2021. The transition phase is now coming to an end, and the use of electronic AFAs (eAFAs) will become mandatory during 2024.
Start using IPEP now
Finnish Customs recommends that representatives and right holders operating in Finland start using IPEP without delay to ensure a smooth transition.
Through IPEP, you can submit new AFAs, make changes to earlier AFAs and make requests for time limit extension.
Within Finnish Customs, the processing of AFAs will be transferred from Intelligence and Analysis to Customs Control on 11 December 2023.
Read more about eAFAs on the European Commission's website: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Transition to the mandatory use of electronic Applications for Action (eAFAs) coming to an end (europa.eu)
General information about counterfeit products and monitoring related to them: Counterfeit products
- Trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services manufactured or produced by a company similar goods and services of other companies.
- Design right protects the appearance of the goods or part thereof. The object of the protection is always a concrete item or part thereof and is always perceived visually.
- Patent is an exclusive right granted to the inventor for using the invention for professional purposes.
- Pirated copy is a product involving an unlicensed copy of someone else’s copyrighted product.
- Counterfeit product is a product involving the unlicensed incorporation of a trademark belonging to another party or a copy of such a trademark, or a product that illicitly simulates the appearance of another product which is protected under design right.
- Infringing product: A product may infringe on intellectual property rights without being a counterfeit product.
Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council, which came into force 23 March 2016, enables the supervision of trademark infringements in transit. Because of this regulation, customs authorities in the Member States have more opportunities to supervise IPR consignments in transit.
Products under transit, which infringe on a trademark of the European Union, can be stopped based on EU Regulation 608/2013, if the trademark is also protected in the country of destination. Therefore, references to the readmitting of the consignment into the EU territory is no longer necessary. However, it should be noted that this does not include design or patent infringements.