Restriction of importation of infringing copies

A copyright owner or licensee ("the objector") may serve on the Director-General of Customs a written notice stating that he objects to the impending importation of infringing copies of his works. The objector would have to provide sufficient information to enable the Director-General of Customs to identify the alleged infringing copies and to ascertain the time and place where the copies are expected to be imported. The objector would also have to satisfy the Director-General of Customs that the copies are infringing copies.

Upon receipt of such a notice, the Director-General of Customs will take appropriate action to seize the infringing imports and inform the objector and importer of the seizure. The objector can then decide whether to institute an action for copyright infringement in Court and notify the Director-General of Customs accordingly within a period of 10 working days from the Director-General of Custom's notice of seizure. If the objector does not institute an action in Court and there is no written notice from the importer consenting to the seized copies being forfeited to the Government, the Director-General of Customs shall then release the seized copies to the importer.

Detention and examination of infringing copies

Any appropriate officer of Customs or Police ("an authorised officer") may also exercise his power to detain goods that he reasonably suspects are infringing copies. The goods may be imported into or exported from Singapore or are goods in transit that are consigned to a person with a commercial or physical presence in Singapore.

Upon detention, the Director-General of Customs shall notify the copyright owner and the importer/exporter/consignee, and hold the infringing copies for 48 hours. If no further action is taken by the copyright owner, the detained copies will be released to the importer/exporter/consignee.

However, during the 48-hour period, in the case of imports, the copyright owner may serve a formal notice requesting the further detention of the seized copies. If the copyright owner serves such a notice, the seized copies will be detained for a further period of 10 working days within which the copyright owner has to institute an action for copyright infringement in Court and notify the Director-General of Customs. If the copyright owner does not do so, the detained copies will be released to the importer.

In the case of goods that are to be exported from Singapore or are in transit with a local consignee in Singapore, the copyright owner has 10 working days to institute an action for copyright infringement in Court and serve on the Director-General of Customs a court order authorising further detention of the copies, if he first places a security within 48 hours of the Director-General of Custom's notification.

In addition, an authorised officer has wide powers to examine any goods, including goods in transit, that he reasonably suspects to be infringing copies of any copyright material.