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Customs officials check the seized fake items. Image Credit: WAM

ABU DHABI: Federal Customs Authority, FCA, and local customs departments in UAE seized 168,251 counterfeit items in 2019 counted compared to 169,587 pieces in 2018. The limited decline in seized pieces is attributed to the increase of small consignments seized in regular and courier mail under the increasing growth of e-commerce movement.

The report offered a classification on IPR seizures in 2019 in terms of transport means highlighting that counterfeit goods seizure by air cargo represented 33 per cent of total seizures, followed by regular and courier mail which accounted for 31 per cent, while marine transport represented 19 per cent and finally, 16 per cent goes for land transport.

The report also classified seizures in accordance with product type, indicating that 37.31 per cent of seizures falls below other goods (miscellaneous) category while hand luggage accounted for 29.85 per cent of total seizures during the year followed by cellular phones and accessories which accounted for 11.94 per cent then garments with 7.46 per cent, perfumes and shoes 4.48 per cent each and finally 1.49 per cent each for accessories, lenses, glasses, waters and jewellery.

Ali Saeed Matar Alneyadi, Commissioner of Customs and Chairman of FCA, said: “In UAE, we have in place a clear and exhaustive strategy to tackle forfeit goods and fight trade fraud. 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.

Data release

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 the Authority’s website.

Alneyadi said, “Elaborating from the significance of cooperation among relevant entities, the 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”.

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Alneyahdi applauded the high level of customs sector inspectors and controllers’ vigilance in the country. Image Credit: WAM

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 practice.