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
In the future, applications are submitted in the IP Enforcement Portal (IPEP)
The EU Commission has prepared the eAFA project in cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Office (EUIPO). In the future, all applications for action (AFAs), extension requests and other necessary amendments to decisions are sent to the customs services of member states exclusively through the IP Enforcement portal (IPEP) administered by EUIPO.
The project will most likely be completed during 2021. Applications will be signed electronically in the future. However, this practice will not be compulsory until after the transition period has ended. A more detailed schedule will be released later.
You can ask more about the IP Enforcement portal at IPEnforcementPortal(at)euipo.europa.eu.
- 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.