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Recording your trademark with Chinese Customs can help to protect your product

Foreign companies doing business in China should always register their trademarks under Chinese law. Foreign trademark filings aren't always accepted in China, where the 'first-to-file' system is used and someone else can register the trademark and use it legally without the company's knowledge.

Once the trademark is registered, there are additional steps that can be taken to protect your brand, such as trademark license filing and customs recording.

Registering your trademark with the China customs General Administration is an important strategy to prevent others from using your brand without authorization. This can help customs enforcement act against such infringement actions and protect your product.

Every time goods with your trademark clear customs in China, you will receive a written notice from the local customs authorities to confirm whether the products are being sold by the trademark holder (or license holder).

Can Woodburn help you?

Numerous foreign companies often find that there are exported/imported products from China branded with their trademarks without their authorization. Without a Customs recording, Chinese customs agents will not take any legal actions.

The Customs recording helps Customs authorities identify infringing goods, excluding those from the registrant's suppliers/distributors.

Any unauthorized export or import of the suspected infringing goods may be seized by Customs. Once the registrant is informed by the authorities, it may consider taking appropriate measures to crack down on fake products.

Even if someone 'fakes' your product and trademark, going through this process will provide additional protection by customs and will discourage any copycats. This is extremely helpful for foreign company's of 'hot' new products in China.

In addition to this, a Customs recording will lower the registrant’s economic burden by cutting the amount of bail paid to Customs when actions have been taken against infringing goods.

Customs recording offer several benefits, including the protection of your brand, copycats are deterred from stealing your IP, customs bureaus all over China can be included in the scope of supervision, and fake products are less likely to reach the market and be sold.

In order to record your trademarks with the China customs, you will need:

  • Scanned copy of your business license

  • Passport of the legal representative with a scanned copy

  • Trademark registration certificate

  • Certificate of trademark transfer and renewal (if possible)

  • Power of attorney

  • Trademark logo

  • Product photos with trademark pattern

  • Product description

  • Basic information of contact person: name, contact number, email, etc.

After you submit the above materials to the General Administration of Customs for their acceptance, the process may take between 2 to 3 months.

It is a must to register your trademarks in China. Once you protect your brand, you can do a license filling and offer your partners a legal way to use your trademark under a paid license, which will protect your business from trademark theft.

Furthermore, recording your trademark with customs will help authorities check the authenticity of any goods bearing your trademark passing through customs and impound anything being traded without your permission.

The cost of these two actions is small compared to the damage that fake products with your brand on them could do to the reputation and future of your business.


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.


Talk to an expert

Schedule a 30-mins complimentary, no-obligation call to see how Woodburn can help you. Book a call with our Head of Business Advisory - Kristina Koehler-Coluccia.

Topics we can advise on include:

  • Company Registration

  • Cloud Accounting & Financial Reporting

  • Cloud Payroll Services

  • Tax & Audit Services

  • Recruitment

  • Employer-of-Record

  • Visa Application

  • Trademark Registration

  • Switch to Woodburn

  • Partner with Woodburn (cross referral) 

Our calls are automatically scheduled via Zoom - or via Teams, WeChat or WhatsApp upon direct request. 

Our advisory calls are available from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm CEST and Wednesday until 9pm CEST.



Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China and Hong Kong’s
most trusted business setup advisory firms

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