What's new in customs applications for action (EAFA)
As from 13 December 2021 in the EU, if you wish customs authorities to act on your behalf at borders by stopping goods suspected of infringing your intellectual property rights, you need to file an application for customs action (eAFA). With the introduction of the new version of the eAFA, via the IP Enforcement Portal of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, this body becomes the single point of submission and management of AFAs for 24 Member States, although the previous optional system will remain in place for Germany, Spain and Italy. This entails several changes, the most substantive of which are detailed below:
Integration of COPIS (anti-Counterfeit and anti-Piracy Information System) data into the Observatory Portal: With the implementation of the eAFA, right holders will be able to access the data of their AFAs filed with COPIS as well as those filed and managed via the Observatory Portal.
Management of AFAs not submitted on the Observatory Portal: By the end of 2022, it will be possible not only to access the data of AFAs submitted to COPIS but also to modify, renew and manage them through this new tool, as is possible with AFAs submitted via the Observatory Portal.
Introduction of paperless AFAs: In 2022, the digital signature system will be introduced which will allow to avoid printing and sending AFAs by post.
These changes involve the harmonization and digitalization of applications for action and constitute a step forward in the protection of intellectual property rights in the EU and the prosecution of violations in this area.
At SUGRAÑES we can advise you on how to file and manage applications for customs action to protect your rights using this tool.