Retention of counterfeited products by the customs’ authorities of the Brazilian harbors and airports

by Jose Henrique Vasi Werner

November 01, 2001


Customs authorities have recently analyzed the enforcement of the Brazilian Legislation relating to the seizures by the Customs and verified that some provisions should be modified in order to abide by the minimum requirements of the TRIPS Agreement under sections 51, 54 and 55.

After reviewing the whole Customs Legal System, the General Secretariat of Customs issued a Normative Act (NA 52/2001) whereby customs agents will start seizing goods suspected to be counterfeited and the owner of the rights. After a preliminary retention of the cargo, the owner of the rights has a 10-day period in which to file the necessary measures to guarantee the seizure of the goods. During this 10-day time period, the goods will be held by customs. As you may notice, this is a major step towards compliance of the TRIPS and also enforcement of the Intellectual Property rights in Brazil.

Bearing in mind that customs agents act exclusively based on the information provided by trademark and copyright owners, it is necessary for each rights’ owner to proceed with the registration of its trademarks and copyrights before Customs in order for a constant monitoring of the importation of goods to be conducted by Customs agents.

In order to proceed with the afore-mentioned registration, it is necessary to present the certificates of registration of each mark or listing of works under copyright that would have any risk to be counterfeited and introduced into the Brazilian Territory; a power of attorney duly notarized and legalized up to a Brazilian Consul and, finally, a report containing the names of the companies in Brazil that have any authorization or license to import goods bearing the protected trademark or copyright (in case there is any).


Jose Henrique Vasi Werner

Partner, Lawyer, Industrial Property Agent

He has a postgraduate degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure from Estacio de Sa University. He is legal Dire[...]

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