Filing border protection notices

Trade mark and copyright owners can file border protection notices to help protect against unauthorised copies of their intellectual property.


Steps when lodging notices with us

Notices filed with Customs under the Trade Marks and Copyright Acts must be in writing. The formats of these notices are set out in the schedules of the Trade Marks Act 2002 and the Copyright Act 1994 for intellectual property.

When you file a notice with us it must be in respect of goods for which a trade mark is registered in New Zealand. The notice you file must be accompanied by a copy of the Case Details Report (CDR) relative to the trade mark number stated on the notice. More information on trade marks is available from the Intellectual Property Office.

Customs is unable to accept trade mark notices for classes 35-45. These classes are service related, not goods related, and are intangible assets.

When you file a notice for a copyright work you must supply the relevant means (images, drawings, description etc) so we can readily identify your work at the border. Your copyright work must be in a tangible form otherwise we will have little or no chance of identifying it during border checks.

If you are using an agent to file your notices, or you represent an overseas based entity in New Zealand, you will be required to file an ‘authorisation of agent’ letter with us from the trade mark or copyright owner. The letter must state what functions and delegations the trade mark or copyright owner has empowered, or delegated to his/her New Zealand agent to carry out on his/her behalf.

Complete a border protection notice for each trade mark or copyright work we are being requested to monitor at the border. Attach the appropriate IP Summary report or images of the copyright work.

  • Complete the appropriate security instrument and provide a cash security of NZ$5,000 to us
  • Provide an authorisation of agent letter giving the agent the authority to act on behalf of the trade mark/copyright owner when lodging border protection notices with us.

Send the completed documents and payment to us either by mail or courier to one of the following addresses:

Mail 
New Zealand Customs Service 
Centralised Shared Services, Border Operations 
PO Box 29 
Shortland Street 
Auckland 1140

Courier 
New Zealand Customs Service 
Centralised Shared Services, Border Operations 
50 Anzac Avenue 
Auckland 1010

If we accept your notice, a summary of your notice details will be published on this website. A confirmation of acceptance letter will be sent to the person filing the notice.

Template guides for IPR notices and security instruments

Once a notice has been filed

Notices are published on this website. They are listed under the names of the trade mark or copyright owners who have filed notices and allow prospective importers of branded goods the opportunity to view the range of IP assets that we enforce at the border.

We target and identify commercial imports of potentially infringing goods we have received a notice for. When we discover potentially infringing goods at the border we investigate to determine whether or not the goods appear to infringe the notice. If we consider this to be the case, we will detain the goods and serve a notice of determination on the importer (or claimant) of the goods and the rights holder who filed the notice with us.

Importers who have had a notice of determination served on them have the option of voluntarily forfeiting the goods to the Crown in which case, we will arrange for the destruction of the goods. If an importer disputes a notice of determination, the rights holder will have 10 working days from the issue date of the notice of determination to either persuade the importer to forfeit the goods, or obtain an order from the High Court declaring the goods to be infringing goods. The 10 working day period may, on application, be extended to 20 working days if we consider it appropriate to do so. If the rights holder chooses to take no action against an importer who disputes a notice of determination, we will release the detained goods to the importer.

Customs recommends that a rights holder filing notices with Customs should consult with a lawyer specialising in intellectual property law before filing a notice. A rights holder should have a prepared action plan of the options available to them in the event of Customs detaining infringing goods. The rights holder should also have an appreciation of what action he/she must take, within a 10 working day timeframe, if Court action is the only option available to prevent an importer exploiting his/her intellectual property rights.