Canada Enacts Law to Prevent Imports of Counterfeit Goods

Excerpt from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report |  Friday, December 12, 2014

Canada passed into law Dec. 9 legislation to strengthen protections against imports of counterfeit products. A press release from Industry Canada states that under this new law the Canada Border Services Agency will be able to work with businesses and intellectual property rights holders to identify counterfeit goods at the border and will have the power to search for and detain such goods to prevent them from entering the Canadian marketplace.

According to the press release, the new law includes the following provisions.

– creates a system for rights holders to submit a request for assistance to the CBSA, which allows for the sharing of information and better cooperation

– allows trademark owners to seek civil damages for the manufacture, distribution and possession with intent to sell of counterfeit goods

– makes selling, distributing, possessing, importing or exporting counterfeit goods for the purpose of trade subject to fines and possible jail time

– makes it illegal to make, import, export or possess counterfeit labels

– includes a specific exception for individuals travelling across the border with counterfeit goods intended for personal use

National Post article notes that the law does not include protections against counterfeit goods transiting Canada on the way to another country, which had been sought by the United States. “We don’t have a customs union,” the article quoted Canadian industry minister James Moore as saying, “and it’s a bit of a stretch for someone in the American administration … to ask the government of Canada, Canadian taxpayers to act as a border filter for all goods that are destined for the U.S. market.”