Last updated: 
16 July 2021

Stopping infringing goods at the border

If you suspect goods infringing your trade marks or copyright are being imported into Australia, the Australian Border Force (ABF) can help.

To get help, you (or your authorised user) must lodge a Notice of Objection with the ABF with details of your registered trade mark or copyright. This gives the ABF the authority to temporarily seize suspected infringing goods. The importer may choose to forfeit the goods. If not, you have the option to start legal action against them to stop the release of the goods (see below for details).

A Notice of Objection is valid for four years, and can be re-lodged, or withdrawn if it is no longer required.

While there are no fees to lodge a Notice of Objection, you will also need to lodge a Deed of Undertaking. This is a formal agreement to repay the ABF’s costs resulting from any seizures made (e.g. transportation, storage and destruction costs).

After goods are seized

If suspected infringing goods are seized, the ABF will notify you and the importer. The importer will then have 10 working days to either forfeit the goods or ask for the goods to be released. If no response is received, the goods are deemed to be forfeited.

If the importer seeks to have the goods released, you will be notified and have 10 working days to start legal action against the importer.

You will need to cover the costs of the legal action.

The goods will be released to the importer unless there is a court order to stop release within 20 working days of starting the legal action.

Once there is an outcome from any legal action, the goods will either be released to the importer or disposed of by the ABF.

Act quickly

Whatever action you do take, it is a good idea to pursue it vigorously to make sure the importer knows you are serious about protecting your IP.

Assisting the ABF

You can provide information on your brand to the ABF to assist in identifying suspected infringing goods. All brand information provided to the ABF is commercially protected and is not released or used for any other purpose.

If you know about the importation of suspected infringing goods, you can submit a referral form or Border Watch Online Report.

Further information can be found on the ABF website.