Holding the line: effective IP protection in Turkey


Ayla Oktar and Salih Oktar

Efficient customs actions at Turkish borders play a key role in the global combat against counterfeits in transit, and rights holders have a big part to play. Ayla Oktar and Salih Oktar report.

Border measures and customs seizures aimed at IP protection are the most effective, quickest and cost-efficient instruments for detaining and seizing counterfeit goods in international circulation, before they reach the end consumers. This is because:

  • A temporary detaining procedure at customs does not require a prior judicial decision in principle.
  • As an administrative public authority, the customs administration has a definite legal and actual power over the goods that are subject to customs procedures during the import/export transaction.
  • Even if the rights holder does not make an application with the customs administration beforehand, there is a high probability that counterfeit goods can be determined and detained, because they pass through control and inspection for other compliance criteria (such as tax, public health requirements, etc) during customs transactions.
  • All the information and documents relevant to all the parties related to the detained products, such as the producer, seller, shipper and purchaser companies, as well as the characteristics, price and quantity of the goods are obtained and kept by the customs administration. These count as reliable evidence for the rights holder in enforcement proceedings.
  • Any shipment that is subject to a customs transaction enters the customs regimes of at least two different countries—the import and export countries. With transit shipments, the number of check points is even higher.
  • Rights holders do not have to carry out a difficult and expensive investigation and evidence collecting in advance.
  • The process of practical seizure of the detained goods currently at customs is not troublesome or expensive for the rights holder.
  • There is a simplified destruction process at the customs.

Turkey, situated at the crossroads of Asia and the neighbouring EU countries, has a significant geopolitical position. Therefore Turkish customs have an undeniably vital role in the worldwide battle against infringement of IP rights.

Efficient customs actions at Turkish borders play a key role in the global combat against counterfeits in transit as well. Indeed, Turkish customs take very effective measures in this context. As a result, the number of infringed goods seized by customs has reached a remarkable level over the years.

IP protection, Turkey, counterfeiting, customs