The global presence of counterfeit products is an increasingly real problem. The RCMP released an update reporting an increase from CAD $7.7 million in 2005 to CAD $38 million in 2012 in the retail value of counterfeit goods seized. Canada is looking to address this economically damaging and potentially harmful situation through Bill C-8 entitled “Combatting Counterfeit Products Act”. Bill C-8 is a positive step towards combatting the problems associated with counterfeit goods and pirated copies. It will also better align Canada with other nations (such as the EU and US) who have already adopted similar measures.

Importantly, Bill C-8 will:

  • allow Canadian businesses to register their copyright and trademarks with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA);
  • authorize the CBSA to provide registered businesses with samples of infringing goods detained at the border as well as key information about the shipment;
  • grant the CBSA ex officio powers to detain, without a court order, counterfeit goods for up to 10 days or 5 days for perishable goods;
  • create new criminal offenses to prohibit the possession, importation or exportation of counterfeit goods, packaging or labelling; and
  • create new corresponding civil remedies to enable registered businesses to pursue civil remedies against the counterfeiter without having to wait until the actual sale of the counterfeit goods takes place.

On January 31, 2014, Bill C-8 was tabled for debate and is currently in its third and final reading in the House of Commons. Here is the latest wording of Bill C-8. Continue to watch this space for updates on its passage through Parliament.