Strengthening border measures


Sharin Pablo de Roca and Deborah Guzman

Border measures have been strengthened under the TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization and under the Free Trade Agreement between the US, Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, members have an obligation to provide for the necessary internal procedures that would help in the prevention of counterfeiting. Under the Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), members have a similar obligation. The customs authorities of the Dominican Republic, in an attempt to comply with these international obligations, have created a registry for the owners of IP rights.

As indicated in TRIPS, all members shall “adopt procedures to enable a right holder, who has valid grounds for suspecting that the importation of counterfeit trademark or pirated copyright goods may take place, to lodge an application in writing with competent authorities, administrative or judicial, for the suspension by the customs authorities of the release into free circulation of such goods.

Members may enable such an application to be made in respect of goods which involve other infringements of IP rights, provided that the requirements of this Section are met. Members may also provide for corresponding procedures concerning the suspension by the customs authorities of the release of infringing goods destined for exportation from their territories”.

border measures, DR-CAFTA, TRIPS