Since 2009, Peru has had a system for voluntary registration of trademarks with the SUNAT (National Tax Administration Supervisory Authority). This system allows customs officials to confirm and compare information regarding the trademarks of imported goods and their legal holders.
Procedure INTA-IT.00.08 prepared by INTA (Peru’s customs agency) sets guidelines for executing the border measures for protecting authors and similar rights, as well as the rights of marks which are applicable when the goods which are imported, re-imported into the same state and others, are pirate, counterfeit or confusingly similar.
In order for these border measures to be applied, the holder of the rights must be previously registered in SUNAT’s Voluntary Registry. It is important to point out that the customs agency belongs to Perus Tax Administration Supervisory Authority.
This “Registry” facilitates the customs officials work as, when physically examining the goods, he/she will have access to a Database with the necessary technical information in order to suspend despatching of the goods through customs. The Procedure indicates that the authority with powers to determine whether the goods are pirate or counterfeit is the INDECOPI (The National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property) or the Justice Department. Accordingly, the Customs Agency does not perform the respective analysis, which is performed by the national legal or trademark authorities following notification by customs officials.
Voluntary registration is carried out by filing an application with the INTA with details of the holder of the rights, details of the applicant in their capacity as legal representative or proxy and a copy of the power of attorney, and full information about the right to be registered.
Once it has received the application, the INTA will pass it on to the INDECOPI for its approval. This system can then be referred to as a “Customs Registry”. It is very important that the application includes the technical information about the right to be protected (mark, slogan etc) as this is the information which will be included in the Customs Database and which will be checked during physical examination of the goods.
Finally, the process of passing the application onto the INDECOPI and its subsequent approval should not take more than one week. It could take longer if the holder registers several trade marks, but in general terms it is a fairly quick procedure.
The INTA will send a notification informing the holder that the technical information has been included in the Customs Database. Registration must be renewed annually within the first 30 days of each year. If it is not renewed, the registration will expire.