The National Board of Revenue has enforced the intellectual property rights rules for import and export goods to prevent entry and outflow of goods that are violating IPR rules to and from the country.
Customs wing of the revenue board on Tuesday issued a gazette notification containing the rules titled Intellectual Rights Enforcement (Import and Export) Rules-2019 with an immediate effect.
Customs houses and land customs stations will now be able to confiscate or halt release of goods imported violating the intellectual rights, based on application of intellectual rights holders, the rules said.
Customs authorities on their own initiative will also be able to confiscate the goods for infringement of IPR provisions.
According to the rules, customs commissioners will destroy the confiscated goods for violation of intellectual rights-related laws including Patent and Design Act-1911, Copyright Act-2000, Trademarks Act-2009 and Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act-2013.
The importers and exporters will bear the cost of seizure, demolition and other charges.
Products imported violating the IPR rules will not send back to the exporting countries, the rules said.
Production, reproduction and other use of goods violating intellectual property rights-related laws effective in Bangladesh and abroad and without permission of rights holders and their representatives will come under the purview of the rules.
According to the rules, rights holder will notify a customs commissioner at a customs house, land customs station and other customs port about import and export of goods and the risk of import and export of goods violating the IPR issues.
He or she will also request the commissioner to halt releasing goods.
The customs commissioner will either register or reject the notice within 30 days of receipt.
IPR holders will submit bond as guarantee and security containing expenditure for confiscation, suspension of release, destroying and delay charge as well as the liabilities of importer or exporter.
The effectiveness of the registration of such notice will remain valid for one year.
The commissioner will inform the other customs houses, customs stations and customs ports about the registration of the notice.
He or she will suspend release of the goods upon being convinced that the goods violated the IPR laws and will immediately inform the decision to importer and exporter.
Simultaneously, he or she will ask the rights holders to be present within 10 days with documents as proof of IP rights.
Rights holders, however, will get three days for providing documents and proofs in case of perishable goods.
Customs houses will settle the consignments as per law if the rights holders do not appear with proofs in favour of goods, according to the rules.
The consignments will be released within 24 hours if the customs authorities become satisfied that the goods under subject did not violate the IPR-related laws.
Rights holders and importers will be allowed to examine the goods or take sample of goods under question.
NBR first secretary (customs international trade and agreement) Md Raich Uddin Khan said import of good that infringed IPR was always prohibited in the customs act but the procedures to prevent such occurrence were not specified.
The revenue board has now specified the procedures and engaged IP right holders for preventing import and export of such goods, he said.
Officials said that many countries like the US had been demanding enforcement of IPR laws in import and export.
Enforcement of IPR provisions in customs points is also important for Bangladesh in the era of post-graduation from the least developed country status expected to take place in 2024, they said, adding that as an LDC Bangladesh now enjoyed waiver from implementation of IPR provisions.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Tax