Customs Regulation in Turkey

Following the amendment of the Customs Law by Law No. 5911, the New Customs Regulation in Turkey came into effect in October 2009 which provides a new mechanism for intellectual property right holders, known as ‘simplified destruction’. The simplified destruction provisions are highly similar to EU Council Regulation No. 1383/2003 and this enables owners to take more efficient actions in cases of an infringement during customs proceedings in Turkey.

The simplified destruction mechanism enables intellectual property rights holders to request the destruction of the suspected infringing or counterfeit products that have been detained or suspended under control of customs, without a court order. Within 10 working days following the suspension of the suspected goods at customs (three working days for perishable goods), trademark, patent, design, utility model, copyright, copyright-related rights, integrated circuit topography rights or plant variety right holders may contact the customs authority and request the destruction of the goods within the scope of the simplified destruction mechanism. The period of 10 working days can be extended by a further 10 working days in case of an acceptable excuse.

Intellectual property right holders should submit a declaration explaining that the suspended goods are counterfeit or pirated, how the suspended goods infringe, and the true owner’s written consent while requesting the destruction of the suspended goods. The owner of the suspended goods should consent (in writing) for to the destruction of the suspended goods under the customs control. Upon receipt of the simplified destruction request and the written consent of the suspended goods’ owner, the customs authority decides to destroy the suspended goods and the destruction is carried out under the supervision of the rights holder.

The simplified destruction mechanism is a rapid and cost-effective method for right owners, since it does not require a court order for the destruction. Also, the suspended goods’ owners usually prefer this method rather than incurring warehouse fees while awaiting a court decision. In fact, this method is preferred by the customs authorities as well, since upon the receipt of the true owner’s written consent, the decision for destruction is easily issued.

In case of the right owner is domiciled abroad; operations can be done by a represantative settle in Turkey. For further information and “the Application Form” that set customs office into action concerning the infringement of the intellectual property rights, please feel free to contact us.

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