The Union commerce ministry has asked the European Commission to review the provisions to put an end to the increasing incidence of seizures of Indian drug shipments meant for other countries at European Union ports on charges of counterfeiting and patent infringement.

"We have written a letter to the European Commission on this issue and we are waiting for a reply from the Commission in this regard," a senior commerce ministry official said.

Earlier, when the reports came in about the issue, the commerce ministry had asked the Pharmexcil to gather specific information on the issue in order to take up the issue of seizure of Indian drug shipments at European Union ports with the European Commission for a possible solution. The ministry had asked the industry to furnish details about seizures like the name of the port, date, product name, etc.

Loaded with the detailed information on the issue, the commerce ministry has approached the European Commission for finding an amicable solution to the issue which was triggered when the European Union countries started implementation of local patent rules rigidly. These EU rules stipulate that any product patent that has been granted in EU countries, if being transported through their countries, is also liable for confiscation under their patent law.

Earlier, the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) had sought Union commerce ministry's intervention in finding a solution to the issue of increasing incidence of seizures of Indian drug shipments meant for other countries at European Union ports on charges of counterfeiting and patents infringement.

Pharmexcil wanted the Union commerce ministry to take up the issue with European Commission to relax the regulations on patent and trade mark issues so that at least the drug shipments on transit cannot be seized at the European Union ports on charges of counterfeiting and patents infringement.

The entire issue started when the European Union countries started implementation of local patent rules rigidly. Since then, there were several instances of Indian drug shipments bound for other countries being seized at European Union ports.