Customs Issues Amendments Concerning Disclosure of Information
On September 18, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published a Federal Register notice concerning its adoption of certain amendments to the Final Interim Rule regarding the “Disclosure of Information for Certain Intellectual Property Rights Enforced at the Border”.
The amendments allow CBP to disclose information appearing on merchandise or its retail packaging that may be otherwise protected by the Trade Secrets Act to a trademark owner for the purpose of obtaining assistance in determining whether the merchandise bears a counterfeit mark. The CBP must notify the trademark owner that the disclosure is for the limited purpose of assisting CBP.
The amendments also expand information-sharing procedures by requiring CBP to release to the importer an unredacted sample or image of the suspect merchandise or its retail packaging any time after presentation of the suspect goods for examination. The purpose of these amendments is to assist the importer to provide a response to the detention notice. The amendments also require CBP to release limited importation information to the trademark owner no later than the time of issuance of the detention notice to the importer (rather than within 30 business days from the date of detention).