As recently published by the Brazilian newsletter Diário Do Comércio, the Federal Revenue Office of Brazil confiscated approximately US$800 million in illegal products in 2018. This total represents an increase of approximately US$180 million in confiscated products since 2017, demonstrating that Brazilian Customs and Border Protection ("Customs") is making strides in combatting counterfeiting. It is of upmost importance that illegal products be barred from entering the country because they are directly responsible for aggravating several preexisting issues in Brazil, such as:
Another Proposed Solution
Although it is undeniable that the Federal Revenue Office has been achieving results, the number of counterfeit goods that make their way into Brazil is still growing fast. However, the Chamber of Deputies has been discussing several measures that could help address the issue. One of these measures lies within Bill 333/99, which aims to increase fines for those who practice acts that violate intellectual property rights. The proposed bill has been in discussion for almost 20 years, and there is still no prediction on whether it will indeed be passed.
Meanwhile, companies must do everything they can to assist the Federal Revenue Office in stopping the entrance of these illegal products. All of the customs authorities in Brazil are open to receiving companies' relevant information about their products and blocking any illegal copying attempts.
Hence, it is highly recommended for companies to seek IP protection by investing in training sessions with Customs, staff and distributors as well as creating tools to distinguish genuine from counterfeit goods and providing such information to Customs.
In this sense, it is advisable that all IP title holders make use of Brazil's National Directory to Combat Counterfeiting ("NDCC"), created in 2014 by the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office ("BPTO") in partnership with the National Counsel for Combating Piracy and Intellectual Property Crimes. The system described below is available at all Brazilian ports and airports entering the country and is accessible by authorities.
It is a fairly simple process for a company to request registration on the NDCC and, thus, provide relevant documentation to help authorities distinguish genuine from counterfeit goods. No fees are charged, and the only documents that must be provided are a power of attorney and the certificates of registration related to companies...