Intellectual property rights

Owners of brands, copyrights, patterns or patents have intellectual property rights to their product. Any undertaking manufacturing and selling identical or similar products is in violation of such intellectual property rights.

These products are known as counterfeits, or more commonly as pirated copies. Pirated copies can be found in most product categories, such as brand clothes, pharmaceuticals, electronics, toys, mobile phones or make-up. The more attractive the product, the larger the global demand for pirated copies. There can be no doubt about the fact that the trade in pirated copies has grown immensely in the 21st century. A contributing factor is the ease of ordering products via the Internet. The counterfeit products often originate from China, but other countries also produce large amounts of counterfeits.

Distorts competition

From a societal point of view, there are several problems associated with piracy. Once problem is that the trade in pirated copies is an important source of revenue for violent organised crime. Another problem is that it distorts free and fair competition on the market. When companies that have invested large amounts of resources on the development of a product becomes unprofitable, jobs and tax revenue are lost to society.

Reporting suspected pirated goods

If you are the owner of intellectual property rights, such as a copyright, brand, pattern or patent, you can request an intervention from us. The application may apply only to Sweden, or to the EU as a whole. It may also be limited to certain EU Member States. Please find the form for applying for an intervention or extension on the website of the European Commission. The website also contains instructions for completing the form.

Find out more about and download the application form from the European Commission.

You may also report any infractions of intellectual property rights to Swedish Customs.

Interventions by Swedish Customs

When an owner of intellectual property rights has applied for an intervention by Swedish Customs, we may stop goods arriving from third countries which may be counterfeit. Swedish Customs may also intervene by its own initiate. We may suspect that a product is counterfeit on the basis of the appearance or properties of a commodity or package.

Once Swedish Customs has seized a consignment, we contact the intellectual property rights owner, which will determine whether an infringement has occurred. The intellectual property rights holder should justify why the goods are considered counterfeit, or why their intellectual property rights have been violated, in writing. Swedish Customs will then decide whether or not to intervene.

This may lead to a civil procedure between the importer and the intellectual property rights holder.

Cases where Swedish Customs cannot intervene

Swedish Customs may not seize parallel imports to Sweden. Parallel imports are goods that have been manufactured or released on a different market with the consent of the intellectual property rights holder.

We also cannot intervene against products included in a travellers personal luggage, which are brought in personally by the traveller. We may intervene if we suspect that the goods are imported for commercial purposes.

Cooperation with other authorities

Swedish Customs cooperates with other authorities in a joint effort against piracy. These authorities include the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, the National Board for Consumer Policies/the European Consumer Centre, the Medical Products Agency, the Police Authority, and the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

Other authorities working on matters regarding intellectual property rights include:


The following regulations apply when we intervene in matters of intellectual property rights:

  1. Regulation (EU) 608/2013 of the European Parliament and European Council
  2. Commission Regulation (EC) No 1352/2013
  3. Chapter 4, section 16, sections 44-49 of the Swedish Customs Act (2016:253)
  4. Section 77 of the Swedish Customs Ordinance (2016:287)

Find complete legal texts or separate sections from Swedish legislation from the legal database of the Government Offices of Sweden (Swedish).

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