Border protection measures preventing counterfeit and pirated goods entering New Zealand will no longer be the sole responsibility of rights holders, and Customs will soon also be able to stop infringing goods from exiting New Zealand.
Currently, copyright or trade mark owners can lodge a border protection notice with Customs, recording the details of their brand or artwork. Once the notice is filed (and a $5000 bond paid), Customs monitors the importation of goods and detains any that it determines are infringing those trade marks or copyright works. The goods are detained and the importer and rights holder who filed the notice are advised. From there, the importer can voluntarily forfeit the goods (in which case the goods are destroyed) or make a claim for the goods. If a claim is made the rights holder has a limited time to persuade the importer to forfeit the goods or file proceedings in the High Court for an order declaring the goods to be infringing. If no action is taken, Customs will release the detained goods to the importer.
Customs notices are a powerful tool for copyright and trade mark owners to stop counterfeit products entering New Zealand. As a result of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), from 30 December 2018 that tool will get even stronger.