| 08 February, 2017

Mobile phones top list of counterfeit goods seized in Dubai

Number of items confiscated in 2016 was 7% higher than the 63.3 million pieces seized in 2015

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2017

Dubai: Mobile phones topped the list of confiscated counterfeit goods, said the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai which confiscated 67.7 million pieces of counterfeit goods worth approximately Dh1.16 billion in 2016.

The number of items confiscated in 2016 was seven per cent higher than the 63.3 million pieces seized in 2015 and the corresponding increase in estimated value of the goods was 15 per cent (Dh1.01 billion).

“The goods were confiscated from warehouses and markets across Dubai, with the DED mainly targeting wholesalers,” said Mohammad Rashid Ali Lootah, CEO of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP), at a press conference on Wednesday.

The confiscated goods were found after receiving complaints from intellectual property rights owners, daily random inspections, and other methods through confidential intelligence.

The three top counterfeit goods confiscated in 2016, in terms of value and quantity, were mobile phones, followed by accessories and building material.

Mobile phones amounted to 43 per cent of the total amount of seized goods, with 14.6 million pieces worth around Dh429 million. Over 11.4 million pieces of accessories worth over Dh130 million, and 6.2 million pieces of cosmetics worth Dh105 million, were also seized. Construction materials including 7.7 million pieces valued at Dh42.9 million, and 7.6 million pieces of tobacco and smoking materials worth Dh1.7 million were also part of the confiscated goods. Lootah pointed out fragrances and perfumes were among the most confiscated products in 2015, but they moved lower in the list in 2016, due to the change in market demand.

The confiscation process by the DED followed intensified efforts by the CCCP sector to protect intellectual property and eliminate commercial fraud in line with the growing reputation of Dubai as a global business hub.

Lootah said the DED achieved a “qualitative leap” by ensuring commercial compliance during 2016 as reflected in the number of counterfeit goods confiscated. “It shows the level of focus and alertness that the DED maintains in upholding the rights of trademark owners by confiscating and destroying counterfeits on one hand, and in safeguarding the physical and financial health of consumers on the other,” he said.

All confiscated goods are destroyed at a DED warehouse, and sent to another division that manages destruction and storage support services, added Lootah.

Types of seized goods

Ebrahim Behzad, Director of Intellectual Property Rights Management in DED, said counterfeit products that have been seized so far included duplicates of well-known brands of gaming equipment, automotive parts, medical equipment, stationery and office products, packaging material, and household items. They also included sports equipment, electronic and electrical appliances, perfumes, sunglasses, clothing, bags, leather goods, food products, watches, shoes, inks, bed linen, tablets and computers.

“We maintain a round-the-clock watch to protect intellectual property and carry out random inspections, field visits and investigation to detect counterfeits. Our team collaborates with public and private sector partners and conducts awareness campaigns among traders to alert them on the dangers of counterfeiting,” he said.

Behzad urged businesses and investors to register their brands and called on consumers not to fall prey to dishonest merchants and their offers of discounted prices on counterfeits.

Box: Consumers can report any cases to:

Ahlan Dubai number: 600 54 5555

Twitter: @Dubai_consumers

by Jumana Khamis Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.