Issue brief |

Revision of Regulation Concerning Customs Enforcement of IPR

As a part of strategic framework outlined in the Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2010 on a Single Market for Intellectual Property, the Commission Proposal to review the Customs Regulation (COM(2011)285 final) aims to reinforce customs actions in fighting the trade in goods infringing intellectual property rights (IPR). In March of this year, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) released a report recommending several modifications to the Commission Proposal. The IMCO Report and, to a lesser extent, the Commission Proposal do not adequately address the risk of legitimate generic medicines being seized and/or destroyed at the border.

To respond to the legal and political concerns relating to the risk of legitimate generics being seized and even destroyed at the border, Medicines Sans Frontières (MSF), Oxfam International (Oxfam) and Health Action International (HAI) Europe have identified four principles that should guide the development of a new regulation for EU customs enforcement of IPR. To ensure respect for each principle, we recommend modifying or deleting certain amendments set forth in the IMCO Report; in some places, we have also recommended changes to the Commission Proposal.