Indonesia has encouraged trade mark and copyright holders to record their IP assets with the Indonesian Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE). This system is part of the Indonesian government's efforts to reduce trade mark and copyright counterfeits by way of temporary suspension. Implemented under the Indonesian Government Regulation No. 20 (year 2017) and Regulation of Ministry of Finance Number 40/PMK.04/2018, the system regulates the import and export of infringing goods. This recordation system, which commenced 21 June 2018, is an ex-officio scheme that only applies to trade marks and copyright, whereas the temporary suspension for other IP aspects are required to go through a judicial scheme.
The government regulation states that in order to file recordation to the DGCE, the application should be filed by the owner of the registered trade mark or copyright, who is also domiciled in Indonesia. For foreign trade mark owners, the recordation to the DGCE can be filed by its legal entity or their local attorney in Indonesia. A recordation filing that is approved by the DGCE will be valid within one year and can be renewed.
The recordation will authorise the DGCE officer to temporarily suspend the import and export of goods suspected of infringement. DGCE officers should notify the trade mark or copyright holder if they find sufficient evidence of infringement obtained through customs inspection or through intelligence analysis based on the DGCE IP recording system. Once notified, the owner or the right holder should confirm the suspension order with the DGCE within two days after the date of notification. Following confirmation, they are to provide an operational fee guarantee to the DGCE for IDR 100,000,000, approximately USD 7200, in the form of a bank or insurance guarantee. The trade mark or copyright holder should then file a suspension request to the Chairman of the Commercial Court, and the Court issue a written order to DGCE to conduct said suspension.
However, the suspension cannot be implemented if the suspected goods have passed customs, as the goods would be considered state-owned goods, suspected of violating the provisions of a criminal offence, as defined in the customs law.
In early 2020, DGCE successfully suspended a truck container containing 858,240 counterfeited pens bearing the STANDARD AE7 mark, a registered mark belonging to PT Standardpen Industries. The estimated value of goods was approximately Rp1,019,160,000 (USD 67,844) imported through the Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya on December 6, 2019.
This regulation is effective in reducing the distribution of IP infringing, imitation goods oin the market. Through this system, the DGCE will be able to immediately notify the trade mark owner or trade mark right holder when there are import or export goods suspected of IP infringement. Up to January 2020, there are seven trade marks and two copyrights recorded in the system.
According to the DGCE, this not only prevents IP infringement but also eliminates the risk of imitation goods affecting consumer health and safety. For example, imitation medicine, cosmetics, and vehicle spare parts can be used as a source of funding for organised crime and terrorism. Therefore, this ex-officio suspension system could be beneficial to trade mark and copyright holders, as well as consumers and the public at large.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.