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15 Apr 2014

Draft Law on border measures amends the Jordanian Customs Law

The Jordanian Custom Department and the Jordanian legislative authority have recently provided a draft law on border measures amending the current Customs Law. The draft law is expected set out protective measures for intellectual property attached to goods being imported and exported and aims to strengthen border control measures to deal with piracy and counterfeiting found in such goods. The new law is expected to be aligned with the specific provisions found in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Currently, the trademark databases at the Jordanian Customs office and the Trademark Office are connected, thereby allowing Customs officials to access any and all trademarks already registered. However, presently, in the event that a customs official suspects a trademark infringement, their authority is limited to suspending importation or exportation of the goods and notifying the trademark owner, in order for the owner to file a claim within the legal timeframe allowed.  

Should the draft law be ratified and enacted, the Customs’ officials will be granted further power to identify, intercept, and confiscate shipments of goods bearing infringing marks and inform the rights holder as well as the importer. These authorities will not require any previous action or complaint by the owner of the right(s). In fact, the new law goes further and grants Customs officials the authority to take the action or file claim against an infringer without reverting to the right owner

In applying this law, it is predicted that that IP protection for trademark owners will be enhanced, as the Jordanian Customs department will be able to lodge complaints against counterfeit goods without requiring previous instructions from the owner of the rights. In future, this is expected to decrease the number of forged and pirated goods entering and exiting Jordan.