Protecting Your Innovations: The Power of IP Registration with China’s Customs


In the era of globalization, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) such as patents and trademarks have become increasingly crucial. Especially in burgeoning economies like China, the emphasis on IPR protection is paramount. The customs record filing in China emerges as a pivotal tool, offering businesses a formidable defense against potential infringements, ensuring the isolation of violating goods, and cultivating an environment of IPR respect.


Customs Record Filing in China: A Vital Protective Mechanism

Customs record filing acts as a shield against potential IPR infringements, minimizing the financial repercussions for rights holders. By enabling the swift identification and segregation of infringing goods, it stands as a frontline defense in international trade, safeguarding the interests of IPR owners.


Validity Period and Extension

China’s customs record filing boasts an initial validity period of ten years. However, the provision for extension ensures sustained protection for IPR, granting businesses the confidence that their intellectual assets remain shielded from potential breaches.


Role of Customs Detention

Customs record filing also paves the way for an extended customs detention period. This additional time frame empowers IPR holders to amass crucial evidence and initiate legal proceedings against alleged infringers, providing an added layer of security.


Eligible Intellectual Property Rights

China’s IPR laws encompass a broad spectrum, allowing for the record filing of trademarks, copyrights, related rights, and patent rights associated with import and export products. This extensive coverage ensures comprehensive protection for businesses.


Eligible Entities

Entities with registered IP in China, such as trademark registrants, copyright owners, related rights owners, and patentees are eligible for record filing in China. This inclusivity promotes a culture of IPR respect and encourages businesses to prioritize their intellectual property protection.


Record Filing Process

The process in China mandates submitting an application and providing security within a mere three working days post the confirmation from China Customs. This swift procedure facilitates businesses to secure their IPR and commence their trading activities swiftly.


Empowering Businesses

Harnessing the customs record filing mechanisms equips businesses to shield their interests proactively. It offers a preventive measure against IPR infringements, fortifying its position in the Chinese trade market.


The “First to File” System and Its Implications

China’s “first to file” system emphasizes that the first entity to register a trademark, patent, or design obtains the legal rights, irrespective of its original creator or user. This system underscores the importance of early registration in China, especially for leveraging the protections offered by customs record filing.


Consequences of IPR Infringement Discovery at Customs

Discovering IPR infringements at customs triggers a series of actions, from detaining the goods to notifying the IPR holder and initiating legal proceedings. This mechanism showcases the pivotal role of customs record filing in upholding IPR laws.


Collaborating with Chinese Customs

Active collaboration with Chinese customs is paramount for optimal IPR protection. Strategies include registering IPR with China Customs, conducting training sessions, providing regular updates, and maintaining robust legal counsel in China.


Why Some Foreign Companies Overlook Customs Record Filing

Despite its evident benefits, some foreign companies neglect customs record filing due to reasons ranging from lack of awareness and misconceptions about the process to financial constraints and underestimating risks.



Customs record filing stands as an invaluable tool in the realm of IPR protection in China. In a world that thrives on innovation and idea exchange, businesses aiming to establish a foothold in the Chinese market must acquaint themselves with the intricacies of customs record filing and its pivotal role in IPR protection.



  1. What is customs record filing in China?
    • It’s a process allowing IPR holders to register their rights with China’s customs authorities, enabling proactive action against potential infringements.
  2. What’s the validity period for customs record filing in China?
    • Initially ten years, with a provision for extension.
  3. Who can apply for customs record filing in China?
    • Trademark registrants, copyright owners, related rights owners, and patentees.
  4. What follows after China Customs confirms my record filing application?
    • Submission of security within three working days.
  5. How does the “first to file” system impact IPR in China?
    • The first entity to register a trademark, patent, or design obtains the legal rights, emphasizing early registration.
  6. What ensues when customs authorities detect IPR infringements?
    • Goods detention, notification to the IPR holder, and potential legal proceedings.
  7. How can businesses collaborate effectively with Chinese customs?
    • Through strategies like IPR registration with China Customs, training sessions, regular updates, and maintaining strong legal counsel.


Contact us if you need legal help in China, like drafting contracts that follow Chinese law, background investigation of Chinese companies, protecting patents, trademarks, copyright, and verification of contracts to the law in China, help with trade disputes and IP disputes in China, etc.


If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Manager, Jan Erik Christensen, at We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.


Contact us if you need help with drafting of contracts that follows Chinese laws and are enforceable in China, background investigation of Chinese companiesprotecting patents, trademarks, verification of contracts to the law in China, or help with other legal challenges that you have in China.

If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Managers Jan Erik Christensen, at  or Milla Chen, at We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.