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  May 28th, 2024 | Written by

Dubai Customs’ Key Role in Elevating UAE’s Intellectual Property Protection to Global Standard

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Dubai Customs has been instrumental in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) recent removal from the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 Report Watch List for intellectual property protection (IPP) violations. This report examines the proactive measures and initiatives by Dubai Customs that significantly bolstered the UAE’s national system for protecting intellectual property rights (IPR).


Enhancing IPP Enforcement

Dubai Customs has led IPP enforcement in the UAE, particularly at Dubai’s borders and in free trade zones. Collaborating with authorities like Dubai Police and the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Customs has effectively controlled the transshipment of counterfeit goods. Since its establishment in 2005, Dubai Customs’ IPR Department has been pivotal in combating the smuggling of counterfeit and fake goods that pose risks to public health and safety and violate producers’ and trademark owners’ rights. The department has conducted numerous training courses for customs inspectors, enhancing their ability to identify original and counterfeit goods and deepening their understanding of IPR protection.

Raising Awareness and Educating Stakeholders

Dubai Customs has launched significant efforts to educate and raise awareness about IPR among various societal segments, including schools, universities, shopping centers, and clubs. Their awareness campaigns focus on the dangers of counterfeit products and the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. The Intellectual Property Rights Award for Universities and Schools is a notable initiative that encourages innovation, creativity, and respect for intellectual property among students. This award program fosters a culture of respect for intellectual property and actively engages the educational community in safeguarding intellectual property rights. Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day and recognizing award winners further emphasizes Dubai Customs’ commitment to promoting IPR awareness and education.

Strengthening Cooperation and Coordination

The success of Dubai Customs in enhancing IPP enforcement is largely due to its strong cooperation and coordination with various stakeholders, including advocates, trademark registration agents, trademark owners, federal ministries and authorities, local government departments, and chambers of commerce. Dubai Customs has developed robust partnerships with trademark owners to enhance IPR protection in the UAE. Regular workshops and training sessions for customs inspectors, in collaboration with trademark owners, increase inspectors’ knowledge and ability to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit goods, while raising awareness about the hazards of counterfeit products. The IPR Department serves as a central contact point for trademark owners, facilitating smooth coordination between stakeholders and authorities.

Strategic Goals and Future Directions

Dubai Customs’ efforts align with the UAE’s strategic goals of achieving global leadership and building a sustainable national economy. The UAE’s removal from the USTR’s Special 301 Report Watch List is a significant achievement that enhances the country’s global reputation and underscores its commitment to international IPP norms. It reflects the UAE’s dedication to implementing robust IPP regulatory standards, including an infringement and enforcement framework that upholds these standards. Moving forward, Dubai Customs aims to strengthen enforcement mechanisms, promote innovation-driven growth, and intensify awareness campaigns to combat counterfeiting and piracy effectively. The organization will continue working closely with partners to maintain and enhance IPP regulatory standards in the UAE.


Dubai Customs’ proactive measures and initiatives have been crucial in the UAE’s journey towards enhancing intellectual property protection standards. By collaborating with domestic and international stakeholders, Dubai Customs has shown its commitment to safeguarding intellectual property rights and fostering a culture of innovation. The UAE’s removal from the USTR’s Special 301 Report Watch List is a testament to Dubai Customs’ success in this endeavor. To sustain this progress, Dubai Customs is determined to maintain its vigilance, invest in continuous improvement, and foster collaboration to address emerging challenges and opportunities in IPP enforcement. By building on its achievements and adapting to new realities, Dubai Customs can continue to play a pivotal role in strengthening the UAE’s position as a global leader in intellectual property protection. This accomplishment benefits the UAE’s economy and reputation and sets a precedent for other nations to prioritize and strengthen their IP protection mechanisms for sustainable growth and innovation.