Border measures: a solution in Saudi Arabia


Mohammad Jomoa

Saudi Arabia has taken significant steps towards making its trade regime consistent with the TRIPS Agreement and has incorporated the provisions of the agreement in its legal system and practice.

Among these, are the special requirements related to border measures. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance has adopted border measures for protection of trademarks and copyrights. Said measures were issued in 2004 and, according to government sources, the measures are in line with Section 4, Part III of the TRIPS Agreement.

Under these measures, Saudi Customs Authorities are authorised to act ex officio and, provided there is prima facie evidence, have the power to suspend clearing of goods suspected of bearing imitated trademarks or works suspected of pirating copyrighted work. Customs will then, in compliance with Articles 51 and 52 of the TRIPS Agreement, notify the importer and rights holder of any suspension.

Further, the customs authorities will forward samples of the imported goods to the competent officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and pirated copyrighted works to the competent officials at the Ministry of Culture and Information. The respective ministries may suspend the clearance of the goods or works once they have identifi ed evidence of infringement, and will notify the customs authorities, the importer and the rights holder of the suspension.

Saudi Arabia, border control, anti-counterfeiting, customs,