There are no provisions whereby provisional relief can be given by an administrative body, save as regards border measures discussed in the answers to questions 15 to 19 below.
[Answer 15: Indicate for which goods it is possible to apply for the suspension by the customs authorities of the release into free circulation, in particular whether these procedures are available also in respect of goods which involve infringements of intellectual property rights other than counterfeit trademark or pirated copyright goods as defined in the TRIPS Agreement (footnote to Article 51) Procedures exist under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court that enable a right holder who has valid grounds for suspecting that the importation of goods infringe any intellectual property right to apply to the court for an order for the suspension by the Customs Authorities of the release into free circulation of such goods. Existing judicial procedures cover the evidence required to be furnished, security or equivalent assurance, notice to all interested persons, duration of suspension, indemnification of the importer and of the owner of the goods. Specify, together with relevant criteria, any imports excluded from the application of such procedures (such as goods from another member of a customs union, goods in transit or de minimis imports). Do the procedures apply to imports of goods put on the market in another country by or with the consent of the right holder and to goods destined for exportation? The Copyright Office has entered into an informal enforcement arrangement with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to seize large quantities of imports of sound recordings (where there is reasonable belief that the goods might be pirated or infringing copies). The goods are then released by the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service to the Copyright Office Monitoring Team of policemen who, after ascertaining that the copies emanate from a valid source release them to the original owner. The owners of these goods are then permitted to purchase the banderole or authentication stamp which must be affixed on all sound recordings in internal circulation in the country. The Copyright Bill, awaiting enactment by Parliament, formalises this arrangement.]
[Answer 16: The customs authorities have the general power to seize goods under their own law (Customs Excise and Preventive Service Management Law 1993, PNDCL 330) if they suspect or are appraised that the goods may be prohibited or illegal (such as counterfeit or pirated). There are no provisions in the existing intellectual property legislation, with the exception of the Copyright Law, which make importation of infringing copies an infringement. However, the Customs Law makes provision for judicial proceedings to take precedence over all other civil procedures.]
[Answer 17: Describe provisions governing the length and cost of proceedings. Provide any available date on the actual duration of proceedings and their costs Judicial measures may be applied in border situations and in this regard the answer to question 8 above, is applicable. How long is the validity of decisions by the competent authorities for the suspension of the release of goods into free circulation? It is desirable that in such cases the right owner should bring infringement proceedings in relation to the seized goods.]
[Answer 18: Are competent authorities required to act upon own initiative and, if so, in what circumstances? There is no provision requiring ex officio action by Customs Authorities except in the case of the copyright office’s banderole arrangements as described in the answer to question 15 above. Are there any special provisions applicable to ex officio action? No, there are no such provisions.]
[Answer 19: The Customs Authority is not empowered to order remedies for infringement. They can seize infringing copies of counterfeit goods and dispose of those copies or goods upon a court order. All such decisions are made by the courts.]