Have your goods been detained by customs?

If the Danish Customs Agency, when checking postal parcels or travelers, etc., suspects import of counterfeited or pirated goods, the goods will be detained.

What does the Danish Customs Agency check?
The Danish Customs Agency (Toldstyrelsen) carries out control of postal items imported to Denmark or leaving Denmark. Postal items include letters, parcels and items sent by courier.

The purpose of these checks is to examine postal items for prohibited goods. In relation to control of counterfeited and pirated goods, the Customs Agency opens postal items on the basis of their knowledge of counterfeited and pirated goods and on the basis of a risk assessment.

Guidance on the Customs Agency's procedures
The Danish Customs Agency shall detain goods arriving into Denmark from countries outside the EU if they are suspected of being counterfeited or pirated.

For travelers returning to Denmark from a non-EU country by plane or boat, there is an exception, if you in your personal luggage carry counterfeited or pirated goods that you have bought abroad for private use. The exception means that the Danish Customs Agency will not detain the counterfeited of pirated goods, if the following conditions are all met:

  • The value of the goods does not exceed 430 € (DKK 3,250). The value is the documented price of the goods.
  • If you have arrived from a non-EU country, via another EU country, and from there you have entered Denmark, you must be aware that the value limit is 300 Euro (DKK 2,250).
  • The goods must not be for commercial use. In assessing whether the goods are of commercial nature, the Customs Agency may, among other things, emphasize the number of identical / uniform goods and whether the goods appear to be suitable for resale. If the customs authority considers that the goods are for commercial use, the goods can be detained in order to determine whether they are counterfeited or pirated.

This means that if the counterfeited or pirated goods appear as bought for resale, they can be detained even, if the total value does not exceed the value limits mentioned above.

What happens when the Customs Agency detains goods?
When the Customs Agency has detained a product, they will contact the rights holder to determine whether the product is counterfeit or pirated or not.

If you are the consignee of the good(s), you will be notified by letter, when the Customs Agency has contacted the right holder and also when the right holder has provided an answer.

If the right holder confirms that the good(s) are counterfeited or pirated and that they wish to proceed with the matter, the right holder will receive the name and address of the company or person who is noted as the importer of the products.

The right holder will hereafter contact you as the consignee and concerning a solution in the case. In smaller cases, the right holder may be satisfied with the goods being destroyed. In some cases, the right holder may claim compensation, because his rights have been infringed.

If you as the consignee and the right holder cannot agree on a settlement solution -  eg because you are of the opinion that the goods are not counterfeit or pirated -  the right holder must bring the matter to court, if he still wants to pursue the case.

In case the right holder does not want to pursue the case, the product will be released to the consignee after payment of customs duties and VAT.

However, it is worth noticing that it is possible for right holder to ask the Customs Agency to destroy the counterfeited or pirated goods according to a special procedure that can be used in cases where the consignee has not directly opposed to the goods being destroyed.

Pay special attention
If your detained goods are not for private use, but are suspected of being for resale, you also risk being prosecuted.


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