ABU DHABI, 14th June, 2021 — In 2020, nearly 923,724 counterfeit goods were seized by the UAE Customs sector, according to the report on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for 2020 issued by the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) recently. Additionally, IPR seizures by local Customs departments amounted to 41 the same year. Ali Saeed Matar Al Neyadi, Commissioner of Customs, and Chairman of the FCA, emphasised that combating smuggling of counterfeit commodities and protecting IPRs are paramount in nationwide customs functions. The efforts by the Authority and local Customs departments have protected society, consumers, trademark holders and the private sector against economic, commercial and social harms resulting from infringing IPRs and the spread of counterfeit commodities. The FCA also report segregated the number of seizures through sea, air, and land transport. Through the sea, there was 70.73 percent, followed by air transport at 19.51 percent, and 4.88 percent through land transport, parcels and couriers each. Al Neyadi lauded the efforts by local Customs departments, especially Dubai Customs, during 2020, as their work contributed to eliminating the UAE from the United States priority watchlist for IPRs, in coordination with relevant ministries and stakeholders in the country, following its listing by the US Department of State recently.
He said, this year, the authority launched the Consultation Council with the private sector to bolster efforts in various domains in protecting IPRs, sharing information and expertise on infringed trademarks. Ali Al Neyadi stated that the authority has implemented 17 agreements on Customs technical cooperation and administrative assistance with the most prominent trade partners worldwide to share information and target illicit trade of goods within the global supply chain. Moreover, the UAE Customs sector convened many meetings with international partners in 2020 such as the US and the EU to shore up cooperation and exchange best practices in enforcing IPRs. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 124 training activities were conducted to increase the capabilities of Customs inspectors and those working in the IPRs area. The FCA Chairman gave an account of the environmental impact of the methods used by the authority and local Customs departments to destroy and recycle seized items, based on approved environmental and customs measures in the presence of representatives from the Ministries of Economy, Health and Environment, media, trade relevant stakeholders and the public.