Who can apply
To submit a Request for Assistance (RFA) application, you must be a legitimate Canadian rights holder/owner. Trademarks and geographical indications must be registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). It is recommended that copyright also be registered with CIPO. For more information on registering a copyright, trademark or geographical indication with CIPO, visit the CIPO website.
How to apply
Requesting help from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is optional. To apply, you must complete and submit the application form. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility. You should also review the Privacy Statement, the Consent and Certification on the application form.
Complete the request for assistance
Each rights holder/owner must complete a separate form. There is no registration fee, but trademark and geographical indication rights holders/owners must be registered with CIPO to apply.
The application process takes approximately four to six weeks. Send completed application forms to the following address:
CBSA Intellectual Property Rights Program
Commercial Registration (HQ)
191 Laurier Avenue West, 12th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8
Or email the scanned copy of your completed application form to: email@example.com
Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will receive an approval letter outlining specific program details.
As a registrant of the CBSA's Intellectual Property Rights program, you agree to comply with Canadian laws and regulations. You also agree to make sure that all information you provide to the CBSA is accurate and reflective of trademark, geographical indication or copyright information provided to CIPO.
By filing a 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 must respond quickly to CBSA notices and take appropriate steps to ensure your intellectual property rights are upheld. If you do not respond in a prompt manner, you may have to pay more for storage costs. Unnecessary delays may be taken into account when determining your eligibility for renewal in the Intellectual Property Rights program.
The CBSA may, as a condition of accepting a RFA or extending a request's period of validity, require that the copyright, trademark or geographical indication rights holders/owners provide a bond in an amount and form decided by the CBSA, for the payment for any storage, handling and destruction costs incurred for detained goods that arise beginning the day after a notice of detention is sent to you.
Change of information
You must notify the CBSA immediately if:
- Your contact information changes (including address, telephone number);
- Circumstantial changes that may affect your copyright, trademark or geographical indication registration with CIPO or the CBSA (such as a change in ownership of that copyright, trademark or geographical indication or its expiration).
RFA applications remain valid for two years. After that, you will need to renew your enrollment with the CBSA.
The CBSA will not issue reminders that RFAs are about to expire. It is the right holders'/owner's sole responsibility to ensure renewal requests are received in time for processing.
Adherence to the CBSA's guidelines
You must comply with the CBSA's Intellectual Property Rights conditions and guidelines. If you do not comply, the CBSA may not be able to administer your RFA; non-compliance with reasonable conditions or guidelines could potentially be considered in civil actions involving suspect goods; and your future renewals may be affected.
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