Russian Customs and Russian Patent Office Combine Anti-Piracy Efforts

The Federal Customs Service is completing conciliation of amendments to the Customs Code, according to which any goods registered with the Russian Agency for Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) and suspected of being of pirate production can be held for verification for ten days before being cleared through customs. Similar laws are in effect in the European Union. Now, the customs service only handles goods in that manner if their brand name is registered in its own commercial register.
That customs service database was begun in 1997and contains about 700 trademarks. They are trademarks of Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Martini Bacardi, Gillette, Nestle, Adidas, Nike, Lee, Wrangler, L’Oreal, and the Red October, Rot Front and Babaevsky candy makers.

The amendments have been in preparation for five years. Rospatent began supplying the customs service with trademark information free of charge this month. Rospatent is the only agency in the country that is informed of and records all transactions involving trademarks, and its database contains “hundreds of thousands” of them, as one satisfied customs official described it. Customs brokers will be charged to access the Rospatent database.

Customs officials warn that when the Rospatent database becomes available, the customs clearance procedure may become slower, even for importers with genuine products.

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