Customs can help fight counterfeiting by detaining goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights. To ask customs to take action, IP right owners need to lodge an Application for Action or AFA.
Before Brexit, two types of AFAs provided protection in the UK, namely: national AFAs and EU-wide AFAs. But since 1 January 2021, EU AFAs granted before the end of the Transition Period no longer have the same scope. Depending on where the EU AFA was granted, the Application is now only valid either in the UK, or in the EU27, as shown below:
From now on, it will therefore be necessary to have two AFAs in place in order to retain the same coverage as before, namely a UK AFA and an EU AFA.