Customs seizure of goods

Last updated: 
10 July 2017

Another option if your trade mark has been infringed is to have the infringing goods stopped at the border before they can be exported out of China.

If you are the registered trade mark owner in China, there are two ways to have the goods seized by Chinese Customs – either by applying for the seizure of infringing goods directly or by registering your own trade marks with customs.

Applying for the seizure of goods (No prior recordal with General Administration of Customs of China (GACC))

As the trade mark owner, you can make an application for specific goods to be seized.

You will have to submit an application form and the relevant supporting documents, along with clear evidence of the infringement.

An application form must include the following information:

  • the name, place of registration or nationality of the owner of the trade mark
  • the name, details and the relevant information of the trade mark
  • the names of the consignee and consignor of the goods suspected of infringing goods
  • the name and specification of the goods suspected of infringing
  • the port by which, the time at which and the means of transportation by which, the goods suspected of infringing may enter into, or exit from, China.

You will also be required to provide a guarantee equal to the value of the goods for compensation of any loss that may be incurred by the consignee or the consignor due to improper application that leads to the bad faith seizure of goods, and to cover fees for the storage, custody and disposal of the goods after they are seized by Customs.

Registering trade marks with customs (IP Recordal and GACC Ex-Officio Action)

You can also register your trade mark with the General Administration of Customs. This is an important step because Chinese Customs has the power to search outgoing shipments for goods which infringe registered trade marks.

To do so, you must submit the following details:

  • the name, place of registration or nationality of the trade mark owner
  • the name, details and the relevant information of the trade mark
  • the details of the exercise of the trade mark license
  • the name, place of origin, customs at the point of entry/exit, importer and exporter, major characteristics and prices of the goods of which the trade mark are lawfully exercised by you
  • the manufacturer, importer, exporter, customs at the point of entry/exit, major characteristics and prices of goods that are known to have infringed upon your trade mark.

Where Customs discovers import or export goods that are suspected of infringing upon your trade mark that you have registered, it must notify you immediately in writing.

You then have three working days to apply to have the goods seized and provide the required guarantee.

If you wish, you can authorise your domestic agents in China to register the goods for you.

The registration is valid for up to 10 years (renewable).