Combatting Counterfeit Products (Intellectual Property Rights)

About the program

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) supports the fight against counterfeit and pirated goods entering or leaving Canada.

The Agency has established a process that allows intellectual property rights (IPR) holders to file a request asking for the CBSA to temporarily detain suspected counterfeit goods encountered at the border while rights holders seek legal redress.

As a Canadian trademark holder registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), you are eligible to file a Request for Assistance (RFA) application with the CBSA. RFAs will help the CBSA to effectively identify and detain commercial shipments suspected of containing counterfeit trademark goods. 

As an owner of a valid Canadian copyright, you are eligible to file an RFA application with the CBSA. RFAs will help the CBSA to effectively identify and detain commercial shipments suspected of containing pirated copyright goods.

If suspect counterfeit or pirated goods are discovered during a commercial examination, the CBSA can use the information contained in the RFA application to contact the appropriate rights holders and inform them of the details they need to allow them to pursue a civil court action.

How the program works

  • Step 1: Ensure that your trademark is registered with CIPO and your information is up to date. CIPO registration of copyright is not mandatory, but is recommended.
  • Step 2: Complete the RFA form and submit it to the CBSA for processing.
  • Step 3: Wait for confirmation of enrollment and approval letter outlining program specific details.
  • Step 4: Once approved, if suspected counterfeit goods are intercepted by the CBSA, you will be notified and given the opportunity to take appropriate action.
  • Step 5: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be responsible for leading any criminal investigations related to commercial scale counterfeiting and piracy.

Note: By filing an RFA you acknowledge that you become liable to the government for any costs related to storage, handling and destruction of detained goods that arise, beginning the day after a notice of detention is sent to you. You can often minimize these costs by responding promptly to CBSA and advising

  • (1) the goods are not counterfeit or pirated, or
  • (2) you choose not to launch an action for this shipment.

Contact information

If you have any questions about the RFA application process, send your enquiries to cbsa-asfc_ipr-dpi@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

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