Trade mark owners to benefit from Egypt's new rules for the registration of factories
On 16 January 2016, the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry issued a decree relating to the registration of entities eligible to export goods into Egypt.
In terms of the Decree, a Register is to be opened at the GOEIC (the General Organization for Export and Import Control) for the registration of factories and distribution centres that manufacture or import a specified list of goods into Egypt. This list is attached to the Decree, which can be viewed here. Only goods manufactured in the registered factories or imported from the registered companies by the registered distribution centres will be released by customs authorities for retail in Egypt.
As part of the application for the registration of factories and distribution centres, the applicant must lodge proof of the registration of the trade marks to be used on the relevant goods and proof of the applicant’s license to use those trade marks (if the owner of the relevant factory is not also the owner of the relevant trade marks). The Decree also requires that a quality control system be implemented by factories or the entity from whom the goods are imported.
Considering the above requirements, it appears that the Decree will have a two-fold effect. Although the main purpose may be to ensure that only quality goods are imported into Egypt, a more practical effect for trade mark owners is that it will be more difficult for counterfeit products to be manufactured in or imported into Egypt, which should be of great benefit to trade mark owners.
The Decree will enter into effect two months after the publication date and we recommend that all trade mark owners exporting their goods into Egypt consider attending to the necessary registrations as soon as possible. We are available and would be happy to be of assistance in this regard.
This article was first published on our dedicated Africa IP blog IP Karibu.