Counterfeiters turning to mail to smuggle fakes

DG Staff

UAE seized over 168,000 fake goods in 2019

ABU DHABI 6 November 2020: Federal Customs Authority (FCA), and local customs departments in UAE saw 67 seizures of counterfeit goods infringing intellectual property rights  in 2019 compared to 63 seizures in 2018.

According to the IPR 2019 report, seizures in 2019 stood at 168,251 pieces compared to 169,587 in 2018. The limited decline is attributed to the increase of small consignments seized in regular and courier mail in line with the increasing growth of e-commerce.

Air cargo represented 33% of total seizures, followed by regular and courier mail which accounted for 31%, while marine transport represented 19% and finally, 16% goes for land transport.

The report classified seizures in accordance with product type, indicating that:

  • 37.31% of seizures falls below other goods (miscellaneous) category while
  • hand luggage accounted for 29.85% of total seizures during the year followed by
  • cellular phones and accessories which accounted for 11.94% then
  • garments with 7.46%,
  • perfumes and shoes 4.48% each and finally
  • 1.49% each for accessories, lenses, glasses, waters and jewellery

Ali Saeed Matar Alneyadi, Commissioner of Customs and Chairman of FCA, corroborated UAE’s keenness to protect IPR, confronting any counterfeit goods infringing the rights of genuine marks owners whether national or foreign companies and asserted that UAE is committed to applicable IPR-relevant international agreements and legislation, said Wam.

“In UAE, we have in place a clear and exhaustive strategy stemmed from our wise leader’s directives to tackle forfeit goods and fight trade fraud, where customs institutions in UAE are the most crucial entities mandated with protecting IPR in world trade on the light of the responsibilities and powers charged to them by virtue of GCC unified customs law and relevant laws. UAE has put IPR protection on the top of its strategic priorities as a part of its vision to build a knowledge-based economy in line with Emirates vision 2021,” he added.

From the perspective of transparency and disseminating customs efforts across the State, FCA laid a plan to annually disseminate statistics and efforts exerted by customs sector in UAE to protect IPR on Authority’s website, of which the first report on IPR seizures for the year 2019 has been posted at

Alneyadi said, “Elaborating from the significance of cooperation among relevant entities, customs sector in UAE is actively engaged with many local and federal institutions and authorities whether within the country or international supply chain to avoid the risks of IPR infringements and protect the interests of genuine mark owners. This goal can be achieved through a number of joint committees with local and global concerned entities in addition to sharing data and expertise which will lead to reinforcing risk management systems employed by customs to target prohibited goods”.

He highlighted that the immense collaboration between customs sector in the country and worldwide in sharing data, to help target prohibited and counterfeit goods, resulted in a number of interference operations and inspection raids carried out by customs departments inside the country and abroad, he also pointed out that in this context, FCA implements 15 agreements on mutual customs support, and seeks to get more agreements executed with its partners from customs departments globally.

Alneyahdi applauded the high level of customs sector inspectors and controllers’ vigilance in the country, and their keenness to protect the community and maintain the rights of entrepreneurs within the country and abroad against malicious trade practices and also appraised the standard of cooperation furnished by international institutions, private sector and local customs departments in sharing information and expertise on any goods and consignments infringing intellectual properties rights.



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