Parallel importing in New Zealand
What Is parallel importing?
"Parallel importing" allows retailers, wholesalers and other parties to obtain goods subject to intellectual property rights directly from licensed or authorised overseas sources, rather than dealing with local suppliers, licensees or agents. In doing so, parallel importing allows for competition between sources of the same or similar goods.
Parallel-imported goods are sometimes confused with pirated and counterfeit goods. The association is not correct. Parallel imports are goods that are manufactured and put into circulation in another country either by, or with the consent of, the owner of the applicable intellectual property rights. In contrast, pirated and counterfeit goods are infringing goods produced without the consent of the owner of the intellectual property right.
Study into the impact of parallel importing on the economy
In 2011 the Ministry of Economic Developed commissioned Deloitee Access Economics to provide some analysis on the costs and benefits arising from allowing parellel imports of copyright works in New Zealand. The report updated previous studies commissioned by the Ministry on parallel importing and concluded that allowing parallel importing continued to be beneficial to the New Zealand economy.
The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill had its third reading on 15 October 2013. The new Act will continue the temporary ban on the parallel importation of films for commercial use but reduce the ban period to five months from the film’s international release.
Copyright, as provided under the Copyright Act 1994 ("the Act"), has generally been the intellectual property right most relevant to the issue of parallel importing in New Zealand.
Pirated and counterfeit goods are infringing goods produced without the consent of the owner of the intellectual property right and, therefore, constitute infringing copies.
List of Frequently Asked Questions about Parallel Importing.
In 1998, the Copyright Act 1994 was amended by the Copyright (Removal of the Prohibition on Parallel Importing) Amendment Act 1998 so that copyright goods lawfully made overseas may be imported into New Zealand without the consent of the New Zealand copyright owner or licensee.
For further information (except legal advice please contact the IP policy group.
The Ministry of Economic Development is not able to provide legal advice. If you have concerns about your legal position, please contact a legal professional familiar with the law relating to intellectual property. You can search for an intellectual property lawyer in the following places: