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HMRC internal manual

Customs Intellectual Property Rights Guidance

Ex-Officio detention: Action to be taken upon detection of suspect goods prior to acceptance of an application for action

If a suspect consignment is intercepted but there is no valid application for action on file, the goods may be detained for a period not exceeding three working days from the moment of receipt of the notification by the right holder in order to enable the right holder to submit an application for action.

Only general details of the consignment such as country of origin and basic description of the goods (which may take the form of a digital photograph) may be passed to the right-holder until they lodge a valid application. Samples must not be sent to the supposed right holder in absence of a valid application accepted by the IPAU.

The suspect goods should be detained and the supposed right-holder informed. Officers are advised to contact the IPAU as they have an extensive list of right-holders and contacts, it is also possible that there is an application pending or recently agreed.

Once notified the right-holder has a total of three working days to lodge an application with the IPAU, this three day period begins at the start of the next working day following the notification of the detention.