The Jordanian Authorities ratified a draft law on Border Measures amending the Jordanian Customs Law. The draft law was forwarded to the competent authorities for further review and approval. In general, the draft law is expected to contain provisions on customs activities related to the protection of intellectual property in the field of import and export of goods. The draft law aims at strengthening border control measures in order to deal with piracy and counterfeiting and is expected to be consistent with the special provisions of border measures of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights concluded within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

By way of background, the Jordanian Customs maintain a system within which all trademarks registered at the Trademark Office will be automatically placed on watch at the Customs. This will help the Customs officials target, intercept, and confiscate shipments of goods bearing infringing marks.

According to this draft, it is expected that the customs officials adopt an ex-officio border system. As a result, the Customs authorities are entitled to suspend ex-officio products which are suspected of being counterfeit and to inform immediately the rights holder as well as the importer. More specifically, according to Article no. 41 of the Customs Law, foreign goods which do not conform to the requirements of the laws and the regulations for the protection of intellectual property shall be denied entry into the country, unless otherwise approved by the competent authorities. It is not clear how the customs will apply this and whether customs recordation will be obligatory in order to receive this service. The main border measures provided by Article no. 41 as per current law are summarized below:

– The Customs authorities can suspend entry into Jordan of alleged counterfeit products bearing identical or similar trademarks.
– Legal proceedings should be initiated by the trademark owner within an eight-day period; otherwise, the goods will be released.
– The trademark owner shall be allowed to inspect the confiscated goods under the supervision of the Customs.
– Small quantities of goods of non-commercial nature and personal items and gifts contained in travelers personal luggage or sent in small consignments, as well as goods in transit and goods which are placed in the markets of the exporting country by the rights holder or upon permission thereof, shall be excluded from the provisions of Article 41.