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UAE: Customs Departments efforts in protecting consumers and Intellectual Property Rights

UAE: Customs Departments efforts in protecting consumers and Intellectual Property Rights

Dubai Custom’s Intelligence Department thwarted an attempt to smuggle counterfeit petroleum jelly under the trademark "VASELINE" shipment that contained 17,280 packs, with a street value of AED400, 000, with the coordination of relevant departments[1].

Dubai Customs follows strict guidelines and implements stringent risk management and intelligence methods to ensure safety and security of products coming into the market and to protect the rights of brand owners. Towards this end, Dubai Customs trains its inspectors on the latest methods and techniques of detecting counterfeit goods and preventing their entry into the local markets, or through transit.  The IPR Department leads the way in protecting intellectual property rights, being the first department of its kind in the Middle East.

It is worth mentioning that UAE Customs have a trademark recordation system for the Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman & Ras Al-Khaimah) to protect the interests and rights of inventors, authors or manufacturers from forgery & counterfeiting operations and monitor and curb all commercial fraud methods, for the purpose of protecting the consumer from harm arising from such fraud. The recordation system also helps officials target and confiscate shipments of counterfeit goods.

As to the Emirates (Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah), the same do not have a trademark recordation system with customs.

The owners of registered trademarks in UAE, or their legal representative can record their trademark/s at the Customs department of each Emirate, which will issue a recordation notice that remains valid until the trademark registration expires, and can be renewed together with the trademark registration.

Such recordation enables the respective Customs authority to stop the transit of goods bearing marks that infringe the trademark owner’s IP rights in the UAE.

The Requirements for recording a trademark at the Customs departments in the United Arab Emirates are i) Power of Attorney, duly legalized up to the UAE Ministry of Foreign affairs and translated into Arabic, ii) a simply scanned colour copy of the valid Commercial Registration in English/Arabic, iii) Logo/Mark Specimen in good resolution, iv) Owner Entity’s email, landline, and fax numbers.

It is also important to point out that the USA “Office of the United States Trade Representative” (USTR)- Special 301 report removed the UAE from the watch list, reflecting upon its progress on long-standing IP enforcement issues. It has particularly mentioned the UAE Customs Departments efforts to overcome any pre-existing concerns and to combat counterfeit goods[2].

Should you or one of your team members need further information on this, please contact us at dubai@unitedtm.com.