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Customs Surveillance

Import Surveillance


 A Trademark right holder can request a customs to stop the import of counterfeit goods infringing on a trademark right at the border.
 Counterfeit goods illegally manufactured abroad can be prevented from entering into Japan.
 The cost of a trial is low and a decision is reached quickly.

 A trademark right holder may request a customs superintendent for a surveillance on the import of infringing counterfeit goods when counterfeit goods is imported.
 If the application is accepted, the infringing goods are held by customs.
 If an import surveillance application is field to the Tokyo customs office, for example, the Tokyo customs office will send the application to all customs offices in Japan. Therefore, the injunction can be enforced throughout Japan.
 The application must fulfill the following three conditions.

  • There must be infringement
  • There must be a description of the infringement
  • Customs must be able to determine that the goods are counterfeit

 For condition A, this infringement applies not only to infringing goods (counterfeit goods) that have actually been imported, but also to counterfeit goods that are expected to be imported.
 Condition B can be achieved by providing goods suspected of infringing, a photograph of these goods, or an expert written opinion from an attorney.
 Condition C can be fulfilled by providing a sample, photograph, or catalog, for example, indicating a way of distinguishing the real goods from the counterfeit goods.



Export Surveillance


 A Trademark right holder can request a customs to stop the export of counterfeit goods infringing on a trademark right at the border.
 Counterfeit goods illegally manufactured in Japan can be prevented from spreading abroad.
 The cost of a trial is low and a decision is reached quickly.



 The maximum period of an import/export surveillance application is 2 years, and the requested period is decided by the applicant (the trademark right holder). The period can be changed.
 In 2010, 519,274 counterfeit goods were stopped by import surveillance based on infringement of trademark rights. RYUKA IP Law Firm has acted as an agent for the Italian suit company Armani to obtain a surveillance with customs based on trademark right infringement, and we have handled over 20 cases of counterfeit goods import in a busy month, all of which have been stopped smoothly by us. (April 2011)
 When we at RYUKA IP Law Firm receive a request, it usually takes 2 to 3 weeks until our import surveillance application is received by customs. After this, customs finds the potential infringing goods and begins their investigation, and a decision about whether a surveillance is possible will be issued approximately 1 month later.


RYUKA Fees for Import/Export Surveillance Application Based on Trademark Right Infringement


Fees for a Counterfeit Goods Surveillance Application
Basic fee (1 trademark,1 counterfeit good) 380,000 Yen
If applying for a surveillance on both import and export based on the same registered trademark, one of the applications will be half price.
Additional fee (Additional registered trademark) 80,000 Yen (For each addition)
Additional fee (Additional type of counterfeit good) 80,000 Yen (For each addition)

Example) The cost of an import surveillance application for three types of counterfeit goods based on two registered trademarks is:
380,000(basic fee)+80,000*1(one additional registered trademark)+80,000*2(two additional types of counterfeit goods)=620,000 Yen

Fees when Counterfeit Goods are Found
Fees for information on counterfeit goods 40,000 Yen
Fees for submitting the written opinion for surveillance to customs 20,000 Yen
Only necessary if the importer/exporter argues against the surveillance
Fees for drafting and submitting an appraisal 200,000 Yen
Only necessary if the trademark of the counterfeit goods is somewhat different from the registered trademark, or if the trademarks are the same but the goods are different types

Fees for Renewing the Application
It is necessary to renew the application if more than 2 years have passed since the application, or if the registered trademark has been renewed. 100,000 Yen

Fees for Amending the Application
Basic fee (Addition or change of one registered trademark or one counterfeit good) 200,000 Yen
Additional fee (For each addition or change of a registered trademark or a counterfeit good) 80,000 Yen

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