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Circular No. 44/2011/TT-BTC dated April 01, 2011 of the Ministry of Finance guiding the struggle against smuggling and protection of intellectual property rights in the customs field
28/07/2011
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THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE

 

Circular No. 44/2011/TT-BTC dated April 01, 2011 of the Ministry of Finance guiding the struggle against smuggling and protection of intellectual property rights in the customs field

 

Pursuant to the Law on Intellectual Property Right No.50/2005/QH11 dated November 29,2005; the Law on Amending, supplementing a number of Articles of the Law on Intellectual Property Right No.36/2009/QH 12 dated June 19, 2009;

 

Pursuant to the Law on Customs No.29/2001/QH10 dated June 29,2001; the Law on Amending, supplementing a number of Articles of the Law on Customs No.42/2005/QH11 dated June 14, 2005;

 

Pursuant to the Law on Complaints and Denunciations No.09/1998/QH10 dated December 02, 1998; the Law on Amending, supplementing a number of Articles of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations No.26/2004/QH11 dated June 15, 2004; the Law on Amending, supplementing a number of Articles of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations No.58/2005/QH10 dated November 29, 2005;

 

Pursuant to the Ordinance on Handling of Administrative violations dated July 02, 2002; the Ordinance on Amending, Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Ordinance on Handling of Administrative violations dated April   02, 2008;

 

Pursuant to the Decree No.119/2010/ND-CP dated December 30,2010 of the Government amending, supplementing a number of Articles of the Decree No. 105/2006/ND-CP dated September 22, 2006 of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of Articles of the Law on Intellectual Property Right on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and on State Management of Intellectual Property; Pursuant to the Decree No.154/2005/ND-CP December 15, 2005 of the Government detailing a number of Articles of the Law on Customs on customs procedures and the inspection and supervision by customs offices; Pursuant to the Decision No.65/2010/QD-TTg dated 25/10/2010 of the Prime Minister promulgating the Regulation on responsibility and activity coordination among state administration agencies in the struggle against smuggling, fake goods and trade fraud;

 

Pursuant to the Decree No.118/2008/ND-CP dated November 27, 2008 of the Government regulating functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Finance;

The implementation of the Resolutions of the Government No.25/NQ-CP dated June 02, 2010 on simplification of administrative procedures under the scope of management function of Ministry, Branch and No.68/NQ-CP dated December 27, 2010 on simplification of administrative procedures under the scope of management function of the Ministry of Finance; The Ministry of Finance guides the in the struggle against smuggling and protection of intellectual property rights the customs field as follows:

 

Chapter I.

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS Article 1. Scope of application

 

This Circular guides on the struggle against smuggling and protection of intellectual property rights the customs field.

 

Article 2. Subjects of application

 

Customs agencies at all levels; exporters, importers; organizations and individuals being owners of intellectual property rights, owners of genuine goods being counterfeited or the legal representatives of the owners or other organizations and individuals involved.

 

Article 3. Interpretation of terms

 

The terms used in this Circular are construed as follows: 1.   Fake goods include:

 

            a) Faking quality and utility: the goods have no use value or use value not being proper to its origin, nature, names and the utility of goods; b) Faking labels and packaging of goods: goods being counterfeited names and addresses of other traders on label or packing of the same goods, goods

being counterfeited the indications of origin or place of manufacturing, packaging, assembling on the label or packing of goods;

            c) Counterfeiting intellectual property as stipulated in Article 213 of the Intellectual Property Law including goods being branded, having sign identical to, or are difficult to distinguish marks, geographical indication under protection for the such goods without the permission of the brand’s owner or of organization managing geographical indications; goods which are copies made without the permission of the subject of copyright rights or related rights;

 

d) The types of decals, quality stamps, anti-counterfeiting stamps, warranty cards, shrink film seal with contents faking names and addresses of traders, the origin of goods, place of production, packaging and assembling;

 

 

 

 

e) For goods to be subject to specialized management if the law has separate provisions, those provisions shall be applied to identify fake goods.

 

            2. Protection of intellectual property rights in the field of customs: is that the customs agencies apply the measures to control export and import goods related to intellectual property as stipulated in Article 216, item 2, Chapter XVIII of the Intellectual Property Law and the measures specified in clause 8, 9, 10, Article 4, Chapter I and item 5, Chapter III of the Customs Law and relative legal documents to detect, fight and handle violations of infringing intellectual property rights in the field of customs. 3. Suspension of customs procedures for goods being suspected or infringing intellectual property rights is the measure to be conducted at the request of subjects of intellectual property rights in order to gather information and evidence of the goods lot for the subjects of intellectual

property rights to conduct the request right to handle the infringement and

            to require the application of urgent reliefs or measures of prevention and ensuring administrative sanctions.

 

            4. Customs inspections on fake goods, goods of infringing intellectual property rights are those to check customs records, and relative documents

            and actual inspection of goods, transport means performed by the customs agencies in order to detect goods being suspected to be fake goods, goods of infringing intellectual property rights.

 

            5. Customs supervision of fake goods, goods of infringing intellectual property rights are professional measures applied by the customs agencies to ensure the original status of goods being subject to customs management. 6. Customs control of fake goods, goods of infringing intellectual property rights are measures of patrol, investigation or other professional measures applied by customs agencies to prevent, combat smuggling and illegal transportation of goods being fake goods, goods of infringing intellectual

property rights across borders.

 

7. Written application includes: request for inspection and supervision of

            export and import goods related to intellectual property and applications for suspension of conducting customs procedures (forms are issued attached herewith).

 

            8. The applicants are subjects of intellectual property rights (including owners of intellectual property rights and organizations and individuals are transferred the intellectual property rights by its owners) or persons are legally authorized the intellectual property rights by subjects of intellectual

property rights.

 

 

 

 

9. Infringement of intellectual property rights is the acts referred to Article

            28, Article 35, Article 126, Article 127, Article 129 and Article 188 of the Intellectual Property Law.

 

            Article 4. Rights and obligations of relative organizations, individuals 1. Being kept secret by the customs agencies for trade information supplied to such agencies, except for the cases that must supply to the functional agencies according to provisions of law.

 

2. Subjects of intellectual property rights, owners of genuine goods being faked or legal authorized representatives are participated in together with customs agencies in activities of inspection, supervision, control, definition, evidence collection to define goods infringing intellectual property rights, fake goods, process of handling violating goods, material evidence except for the case of necessary to protect trade secrets, state secrets according to law regulations.

 

            3. Complaints and claims of decisions to handle fake goods, goods infringing intellectual property rights, the application of measures to control the exports and imports related to intellectual property of customs agencies under provisions of law on complaints and denunciations and the law on

procedures for settlement of administrative cases.

 

4. Supplying to customs agencies the information, documents related to export and import goods being suspected to infringe intellectual property rights, fake goods.

 

5. Supporting and coordinating with customs agencies in handling, destruction of goods infringing intellectual property rights, fake goods.

 

Article 5. Powers and responsibility of customs agencies

            1. Deploying the application of measures of control, customs supervision, customs control in accordance with the customs law, commercial law and intellectual property law for goods being suspected to be fake goods, goods infringing intellectual property rights.

 

2. Explaining and guiding concerned organizations and individuals to comply with law regulations on against fake goods and execution to protect intellectual property rights, the provisions of the Customs Law, Law on Intellectual Property and guidance in this Circular. Notify in writing to concerned organizations and individuals on the result of settlement, handling.

 

3. Coordinating with state administration agencies, the function forces against fake goods and protect intellectual property rights in the combat and handling fake goods, goods infringing intellectual property rights in accordance with current law.

 

 

 

 

            4. Requiring concerned individuals and organizations to hand in, present relative documents and vouchers to explain and clarify the doubtful question of the customs agencies on exports, imports infringing intellectual

property rights, fake goods.

 

            5. Settling claims and complaints of concerned organizations and individuals on the handling of fake goods, goods infringing intellectual

property rights and the application of measures to control exports, imports

            related to intellectual property of the customs agencies in accordance with the law regulations.

 

6. Implementing the report regime, keeping documents, records relating to the act of against fake goods and protection of intellectual property rights under current provisions of the Customs Branch.

 

Chapter II.

 

INSPECTION, CUSTOMS SUPERVISION AND CUSTOMS CONTROL OVER FAKE GOODS, GOODS RELATING TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

ITEM 1. INSPECTION, CUSTOMS SUPERVISION OVER FAKE GOODS DURING THE COURSE OF CUSTOMS PROCEDURES Article 6. Custom inspection

 

1. During the course of customs procedures for imports, exports, the customs agencies are responsible for:

 

a) Inspecting and comparing the declared information of the owners on the declarations of names, trademarks, origin, value, packing, goods quality and transport road of goods with information collected by the customs agencies to determine the signs of fake goods.

 

b) Inspecting and comparing the contents of the conclusions of the State

            administration agency on exports, imports, results of inspecting customs record with the results of actual goods inspection.

 

c) Cross-checking inspection results with law regulations on fake goods. 2. When detecting goods having signs of infringement in the cases such as: - Importing goods does not comply with the labeling of goods as stipulated in Decree No.89/2006/ND-CP dated 30/09/2006 of the Government on goods labeling, for example: food additives with no date of production, using instruction, importing cosmetics not writing the quantity, compositions.

 

- State inspection conclusion on quality or goods quality appraisal results identifying goods not reaching quality for import or export; not meeting technical standards, norms of Vietnam. For example: imported liquor does

 

 

 

 

            not reach standard of Vietnam or does not meet standards publicized; imported pharmaceutical products with pharmaceutical substance but not

proper contents registered or with pharmaceutical substance different from

            the one written in label.

 

- Goods in the list or under notification of the State administration agencies that do not meet quality standards or are not allowed to sell in the market. For example: pharmaceutical products from importing origin in which according to the notification of health agencies, their circulation is suspended due to not reach the quality standards.

 

- Content on labels of goods does not in accordance with the documentation supplied with the product, the standard mark, mark of conformity; expired goods or signs of erasing expiry indicated on product packing. - Using the packing of other manufacturers for their own products  or not recording barcode on products, barcode on the products inconsistent with the origin declared on customs declarations, certificates of origin. Leaders of the Customs Branches where detecting infringing goods shall consider, decide to apply measures to prevent administrative violations and ensure the administrative sanctions under the current regulations and measures carried out to verify the goods in accordance with Article 7 of this Circular.

 

3. Where detecting goods which have signs of violation upon information supplied by the owners of genuine goods being counterfeited, the leaders of the Customs Branches where detecting goods with suspicion of violation shall be responsible for immediately notifying to the owners of genuine goods being counterfeited, and concurrently, considering to decide the application of measures to prevent administrative violations and ensuring the administrative sanctions under the current regulations and carrying out verification measures for goods under provision in Article 7 of this Circular.

 

Article 7. Verification and handling of goods

 

            1. During the time the goods are temporarily detained or be subject to preventive measures as prescribed, the Customs Branches are responsible

            for performing the following tasks:

 

a) Requiring goods owners, owners of genuine goods being counterfeited (as its owners are defined) to provide documents relating to goods (catalog, the appraisal conclusion and documents from foreign countries, the results of handling similar cases ....).

 

b) Coordinating with goods owners, owners of genuine goods being

            counterfeited their sample, to unify to select appraisal trader to conduct the

 

 

 

 

appraisal. Conclusion of appraisal trader is valuable for the parties to implement.

 

            c) Where the customs declarers and customs agencies are inconsistent in the selection of expertise trader, customs agencies shall select the technical organization appointed to inspect, serve the state management or expertise trader (in case of technical organizations appointed to inspect having written refusal). Conclusions of the technical organization appointed to inspect, serve the state management or expertise trader is valuable for the

parties to implement. If customs declarer does not agree with this

            conclusion, the complaints may be made under the provisions of law. Procedures to take sample, techniques to take sample, place to store sample, time to store sample, the images of goods shall be made under the guidance in clause 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, Article 15, Circular No.194/2010/TT-BTC dated December 06, 2010 of the Ministry of Finance.

 

d) Coordinating with the control forces of anti-smuggling in the verification, investigation under professional skill stipulated. e) Reporting to the provincial, city Customs Branches and General Department of Customs for on time guidance to deal with complicated cases, goods with high value relating to many localities, state agencies and international organizations.

 

            f) Decision on temporary release of goods for storage in accordance with provision in clause 4, Article 25 of the 2005 Customs Law amending and supplementing in cases goods owner having requirement to get goods for

preservation.

 

            3. Expiry of temporary detention or time to apply preventive measures as prescribed, if sufficient grounds to conclude that the suspected goods are counterfeit one, the customs agencies conduct to handle administrative violations in accordance in Chapter IV of the Circular. 4. Where the infringing goods having signs of crime as prescribed in the Penal Code, the customs agencies are responsible for transfer to the competent agencies to conduct investigations and prosecutions under the

provisions of law.

 

5. Completing customs procedures for goods lot in the case the goods are concluded not being the counterfeit one. The settlement of complaints or claim of goods owners for compensation of damages caused due to the temporary detention of goods by customs agencies shall be conducted according to current regulations on settlement of complaints and compensation.

 

 

 

 

ITEM 2. INSPECTION, CUSTOMS SUPERVISION TO GOODS RELATING TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS DURING THE COURSE OF CUSTOMS PROCEDURES

 

Article 8. Customs inspection

 

1. In the process of customs procedures for exports or imports goods, the customs agencies are responsible for:

 

            a) Inspection and comparison between the information declared by the goods owners in the declarations on names, trademarks, origin, value,

packing, quality of goods, road of transporting goods with information in

            the data system on application requesting for inspection and monitoring exporting and importing goods related to intellectual property, risk management portfolio of intellectual property and information collected by customs agencies to determine the signs of goods infringing intellectual property rights.

 

b) Comparison between results of checking customs dossiers, the actual

            goods inspection and results of checking the information with provisions of law on goods infringing intellectual property rights and the provisions on procedures controlling exports and imports related to intellectual property. 2. Upon detection of goods being suspected to infringe the intellectual property rights, the Customs Branches make the announcement as prescribed in Article 9 of this Circular.

 

            3. Where there is no information requesting to protect intellectual property rights, but in the process of inspection, the Customs Branches detect and suspect that imported goods faking on intellectual property (e.g. goods

bearing brands of Vietnamese enterprises but was imported from abroad

            without sourcing contracts).

 

Leaders of Customs Branches direct the actual inspection of goods, taking samples or photography of goods, exchange and supply of information related to the unit being main responsible for intellectual property at the General Department of Customs, Customs Departments of provinces and cities to determine the completion of customs procedures or temporary detention of goods if the suspicion is identified being basis.

 

Article 9. Notification for suspected goods

 

1. Customs Branches notify to the applicants for the suspected goods (according to Form No.03-SHTT issuing together with this Circular) and fax to the applicants.

 

2. During three (03) working days from the date of notification of suspected goods, the Customs Branches are responsible for performing the following tasks:

 

 

 

 

            a) Decision to suspend customs procedures after receiving the written request for suspension of customs procedures and ensuring money (20% of goods lot value need to be applied measures of suspension of customs procedures or at least twenty million dong if could not determine the value of such goods lot) or guarantee documents issued by a bank or other credit institutions specified in clause 2, Article 217 of Intellectual Property Law.

b) Where there are sufficient grounds to assert that the to be notified goods

            are counterfeit on intellectual property, Branches’ leaders review the decision to immediately apply administrative measures to handle as prescribed in Article 214 and Article 215 of Intellectual Property Law. At the same time coordinate with the control forces at all levels to verify and collect information of the goods in accordance with provisions. c) Continuing to conduct customs procedures for goods lot in case of not being received written request for suspension of customs procedures, not receiving guarantee money or guarantee documents.

 

Article 10. Suspension of customs procedures

 

1. Customs Branches decide to suspend customs procedures (according to Form No.04- SHTT attached herewith). Decision to suspend is sent by registered mail and fax to the concerned parties.

 

            2. The duration of suspension of customs procedures is 10 (ten) working days since the date that applicants for suspension receive the decision to suspend customs procedures. In case of arising requirement for expertise or

professional consultation from the State administration agencies on

            intellectual property, customs agencies will continue the suspension of customs procedures until they get the expertise result or expert opinion. Customs Branches where have decided the suspension implement the extension of the duration to suspend after the applicant has an application for extension enclosed with the guarantee money or guarantee documents according to law regulations and notify to the applicant, goods owner and concerned parties (according to Form No. 05-SHTT issuing together with this Circular).

 

            3. During the time of suspension or time to apply preventive measures as prescribed, the Customs Branches where have decided the suspension are

            responsible for performing the following tasks:

 

            a) Requiring goods owners, owners of intellectual property rights to provide documents relating to goods (catalog, the expertise conclusion,

            documents from foreign countries and results of handling similar cases ....). b) Directly requiring for expertise in the expertise organization as stipulated

            in clause 1, Article 40 of Decree No.105/2006/ND-CP dated September 22,

 

 

 

 

2006 or of the Government or consulting the expertise opinions of the State administration agencies on Intellectual Property.

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