Having complied with the TRIPS regime in satisfying the minimum standards of Intellectual Property protection, India is now looking at ways and means to ensure a foolproof enforcement mechanism.

With a view to limit the adverse effects of parallel imports, the Government of India has issued the (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007, (hereinafter referred to as the "Rules") vide Notification No. 47/2007-CUSTOMS (N.T.) that provide for a registration mechanism with the Customs Authority to legally intercept and restrict the intrusion of parallel imports into the official and authorized channels of trade.

The Customs Authority is empowered and authorized to intercept, seize and confiscate goods found to be or suspected to be infringing IPR registered and in force in India. Registration of the IPR with the Customs Authority will enable the Customs Authority to store the IPR in their electronic database which will be flashed across all entry points in India.

These Rules serve as a welcome change especially for corporations having registered intellectual property rights or who are looking at obtaining a registration and enforcing their patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs in India and enjoying their presence through authorized distributors. This registration is in addition to the conventional registration for intellectual property rights such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and designs.

The Rules are in addition to the Intellectual Property laws and serve as an enforcement mechanism at the points of entry into the country. The Rules give the customs officials the authority to intercept, detain, confiscate and destroy the same even before such parallel imports enter the ordinary circulation of trade.

The Customs Authority is empowered to suspend the clearance of such infringing goods either on the basis of the registration appearing in the electronic database or even suo motu in the interest of the trade and protection of intellectual property rights. An intellectual property right owner today is therefore in a position to minimize his losses and intercept any actual or potential loss by parallel imports or even counterfeit goods, by a mere registration with the Customs Authority at a cost that is negligible compared to the losses incurred.

The Government of India has in a separate notification {Notification No. 50/2007-CUSTOMS (N.T.)} prohibited the exports of goods, which under the trademark law , fail to meet the requirement of indication of origin. Section 139 of the Trade Marks Act requires the intellectual property right owner to apply an indication of the country or place in which they are made or produced or the name and address of the manufacturer or person for whom the goods were manufactured.

This notification, coupled with the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules 2007, serves to curb unauthorized and unaccounted exporting and parallel imports.

Registration under the Rules

An intellectual property right holder can apply in the prescribed form along with the fees, an undertaking and an indemnity bond to the Commissioner of Customs or any Customs Officer authorized in this behalf by the Commissioner at the port of import of goods and request for the suspension of clearance of goods suspected to be infringing intellectual property rights.

The Commissioner will grant such a registration within a period of 30 days from the date of such request which will be valid for one year. Such an intellectual property right will be stored in electronic databases which will be available to all custom authorities across the country across airports and sea ports.


This mechanism is likely to see a substantial decrease in piracy at a cost that is very affordable and reasonable compared to the volumes of parallel importing.

Registration Costs

US$ 500 for registration of the intellectual property right (All charges are inclusive of Government fees as applicable).


  • Completed form as outlined in Annexure to the Rules.
  • Proof of the existence and ownership of a valid intellectual property right by the right holder.
  • Detailed description of the goods in respect of which an intellectual property right applies, together with a sample, model or photograph of the genuine product.
  • Contact details of the applicant/right holder.
  • Power of Attorney.
  • Any other document that may be requested by the Customs Commissioner.

Estimated timeframe for grant of such registration

We anticipate that the estimated time frame for the grant of a registration under the Rules would take approximately 30 days.


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