Safeguarding Local and International Community and Economy
Dubai Customs strongly believes in the producers and the creative thinkers’ rights in the different fields whether industrial, commercial or literary. It has seriously taken the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) into consideration through firmly combating the smuggling of counterfeit and fake goods and products and all that threatens public health and safety of the local community and the Emirati people or violates producers and trademark owners’ rights. Dubai Customs is also keen on maintaining international trade’s legitimacy, as Dubai is considered a focal gateway for Western and Eastern trade movement.
DC has made great efforts in educating and raising awareness of the IPR and the hazards and harms of using counterfeit products on the community and the health of its members. A number of workshops were conducted for a wide range of society segments. They were held at schools and universities across the UAE as well as shopping centers and clubs. In addition, customs inspectors receive training courses throughout the year in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of how to differentiate between original and fake goods and original and duplicate trademark. Such workshops take place in participation with the trademark owners themselves which reflects positively on the inspectors’ competencies and their efforts in protecting the local community and maintaining the Emirati people’s health and safety.
IPR Department at Dubai Customs
The first unit of its kind in the Middle East. Its importance comes from being a federal law enforcement body, such as laws pertaining to IPR protection and securing the 21 main land, sea and air entry and exit points.
The IPR Department commenced its operations on June 30, 2005, under a decision issued by the Director of Dubai Customs. The IPR Department is based in the DC’s main building.
It was established as an independent administrative unit at DC to keep pace with the state’s policy as well as demonstrate DC’s strong commitment to protect intellectual and industrial property rights, in fulfillment of international agreements and treaties, namely the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The IPR Department applies the Common Customs Law of the GCC States.
Duties of the IPR Department
The IPR Department undertakes the following functions:
- Implement federal and local agreements and laws that address IPR protection.
- Keep abreast of laws, resolutions and treaties and international classification of trademarks and all developments in the international arena.
- Create a database containing registered trademarks details that have been recorded for the purposes of customs control and protection, and to update the database with most recent measures taken by the manufacturers to distinguish between their authentic goods and counterfeit ones.
- Provide expert opinion and support customs cases by presenting reports affirming the occurrence of counterfeiting, in coordination with the competent agencies.
- Guide and supervise education and awareness of customs inspectors in particular and the consumer in general in respect to IPR protection.
- Strengthen the relations among trademark owners and to tighten control over goods being infringed in a manner that would positively support the global current economic scene.
The theme “Together for a Better Protection” taken by the IPR Department has substantiated the concept of teamwork with the goal of establishing a single chain linking efforts being made by advocates, trademark registration agents, trademark owners, trademark producers and manufacturers, federal ministries and authorities and local government departments, competent chambers of commerce and customs centres. A smooth coordination between stakeholders and concerned authorities is aimed at achieving maximum possible protection of IPR.
The IPR Department made a number of successes and achievements including but not limited to:
- Earning DGEP award for best government project for the 2008-2009 edition. The award was granted in recognition of the formation of the first unified IPR work team on March, 2006 which reflects the relationship and partnership between Dubai Customs’ IPR Department and government departments, ministries, organizations, chambers of commerce and the private sector. The work team consists of:
Establishing an IPR cases database, allowing customs centres to follow up these cases.
Establishing a UAE registered trademarks database (Brands Recording e-System).
Organizing press conferences on combating fraud and counterfeiting.
Hosting training and awareness workshops on IPR and distinction between authentic and counterfeit products for Dubai Customs inspectors, government ministries and departments and GCC states representatives in this field.
Delivering introductory presentations to public prosecutors at Dubai Judicial Institute about the meaning of IPR and customs processes in this regard.
Hosting the 4th Global Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy from 3-5 February 2008, following joint efforts between Dubai Customs and other competent agencies and pursuant to the theme of “Together for a Better Protection”.
Establishing the Awareness and Education Section, following the issuance of Dubai Declaration at the 4th Global Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, with the objective of disseminating awareness about the meaning of IPR and the risks of fake products among customs inspectors and officials, community members and school, college and university students.
Coordinating with the Communication Department at Dubai Customs and the Ministry of Education over conveying the concept of IPR to school students and conducting theoretical and practical training on the protection of the society and national economy (Dubai Customs IPR Award for schools and universities).
Signing a MoU between Dubai Customs and the Brand Owners’ Protection Group in the GCC states and Yemen for the purpose of identifying the framework of cooperation between the two sides to prevent the entry and smuggling of counterfeit and pirated goods.
Coordinating with summer clubs over educating the students participating in such training for disseminating the concept of IPR and role of Customs.
- Federal Customs Authority
- Ministry of Economy
- Ministry of Health
- National Media Council
- Department of Economic Development
- Public Prosecution
- Dubai Municipality
- Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Dubai Police General Headquarters
- Brand Owners’ protection Group
What is the Objective of Training and Education in the Area of IPR?
To educate inspectors about the meaning of IPR, distinction between authentic and counterfeit trademarks, learning about trademarks production line and identifying problems and challenges facing inspectors and the relevant agencies and how adverse aspects can be addressed. Such workshops aim as well at sharing ideas and information, disseminating knowledge economy and viewing and benefiting from the experiences of other competent departments, ministries and organizations.