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Intellectual Protection Efforts from United Arab Emirates (UAE) cause United States to lift UAE from Watch List of Intellectual Protection (IP)


Intellectual Protection Efforts from United Arab Emirates (UAE) cause United States to lift UAE from Watch List of Intellectual Protection (IP)

United Arab Emirates (UAE) reaches a new milestone in Intellectual Protection (IP) from the United States Trade Representative (UTSR) decision to remove UAE from the watch list for IP protection and enforcement. In the UTSR annual report, it was reported that the UAE applied adequate and effective measures to protect and enforce intellectual property rights as per IP related international standards and global best practices. The annual report highlights the compliance and increased efforts of UAE that lead to the removal of the watchlist after longstanding IP concerns.

The UTSR stated in the report on global IP compliance that the UAE made progress on longstanding IP enforcement lead by federal authorities and local governments pushing a series of IP enforcements on longstanding IP enforcement standards. The decision holder H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, CEO and Chairman of DP World Group and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), welcomed the decision of the taking the UAE off the watchlist and underlined the UAE for the commitment in implementing IP regulations.

H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem stated, “We are pleased that Dubai Customs’ IP efforts have contributed to this achievement by the UAE. This underpins strategic plans to increase foreign trade growth, in fulfillment of the wise leadership’s directives and particularly the trade roadmap vision approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which sets out a five-year plan to boost Dubai’s foreign trade to Dh2 trillion,” as he boosted over UAE performance.

Efforts by Dubai UAE POV:

H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem explained that Dubai Customs has been actively engaged in tackling the illicit trade of counterfeits, while being in full corporation with the US and other foreign bodies. The Dubai Customs works in tandem with the IPR departs to enforces intellectual property and trademark laws by making sure that any IPR infringing goods are seized to prevent from entering local markets.

H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs said, “Dubai Customs has long been steadfastly committed to intellectual property rights protection. In 2005, we established the IPR department, the first of its kind at the level of customs authorities in the Middle East, with the aim of optimizing coordination amongst different customs units and centers in the area of enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights,” when describing Dubai Customs efforts in protecting IPR laws.

In 2021, Dubai Customs organized twelve workshops to introduce training of distinguishing between counterfeit products targeted at 1,394 staff and students. This training led to Dubai Customs resolved 81 intellectual property disputes, with an estimated value of Dh 11.3 million and recycled 510,000 counterfeit items for 26 international brands.

The Director of the IPR department, Yousuf Ozair Mubarak, mentioned that Dubai Customs teams constantly communicate with US and foreign countries to understand their needs and requirements in respect of protection and enforcement of the IP rights to ensure business interests of their partnering organizations.


Tip-Off Leads to Successful Tracking of Counterfeit Oil and Gas Pipes

Cooperative efforts between the Dubai Customs’ IPR and Intelligence departments led to the successful identification and seizing of 58 counterfeit Vallourec oil and gas pipes before they enter the UAE market.

According to information released by Dubai Customs, a tip-off received by the IPR Department pointed to four specific vessel containers from an Asian country carried the counterfeit items. These suspicions were confirmed upon completion of a technical inspection revealing non-conformity with specification and quality requirements,  counterfeit trademarks branded on the steel pipes, and forged quality certificates.

“Counterfeiting has a damaging effect on business, the economy and the general population, and when it comes to oil and gas pipes, it can wreak havoc on the environment as well,” said Yousef Ozair Mubarak, Director of IPR Department.

“As soon as we received information about this shipment of fake pipes, we moved swiftly to seize and recycle the contraband to prevent any potential damage to the environment. This is our commitment towards manufacturers and rights-holders in order to provide them the best possible investment conditions in support of sustainable economic development.”

Vallourec is a French manufacturing company offering a wide range of steel  VAM® premium connections for Oil & Gas well equipment such as casing, tubing and accessories. These items are designed to withstand high temperatures and pressures to better support the petroleum industry. Compromising the quality of steel for these items, risks in worker safety and the petroleum industry are increased.

“Our control room spots and tracks any high-risk consignments of smuggled goods before their arrival to Dubai using the Smart Vessel Tracking System, which Dubai Customs developed for the purpose,” commented, Shuaib Al Suwaidi, Director of Customs Intelligence Department. “We were alerted by the IPR Department and acted accordingly to track down the suspected shipment and eventually intercepted a significant haul of illicit counterfeit steel pipes.”