Officials Detect 11,400 Counterfeit Products in Abu Dhabi This Year

ABU DHABI — Nearly 11,400 counterfeit products carrying reputed global trade marks were detected in various segments of markets in Abu Dhabi, in 2009, a senior government official disclosed on Sunday.

By T. Ramavarman

Published: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 11:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:48 AM

“The counterfeit products detected included about 400 foodstuff items, 2790 cosmetics (body and hair care), 5090 electric and electronic appliances, phones and auto spare parts, 3055 garments, shoes and accessories,” Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development, or DED, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the anti-counterfeit exhibition organised by the department at the Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.

He conceded that the detected items form only a part of the counterfeit items that are being circulated in the market. “Instances of commercial fraud had been growing, especially in the backdrop of the recession. The violators are using sophisticated methods to produce fake products, which are very difficult to differentiate from genuine branded items.”

According to the DED officials, figures of the World Trade Organisation indicate that trade in counterfeit products accounted for 10.7 per cent of the world trade. It is valued at $1 trillion in the US or 26 per cent of value of the total tradable goods. Pirated goods inflict losses of up to $250 billion a year on the US firms.

Losses due to commercial fraud stood at $18 billion in the GCC, though UAE-specific figures were not available, officials said.

Omar Abdullah said that theUAE had been able to limit the level of piracy to 35 per cent, which is one of the highest in the world. The UAE is classified as one of the best 20 countries worldwide in protecting intellectual property rights and fighting of piracy, while it occupies the top slot in the Arab region.

“The government of Abu Dhabi has been taking a series of measures to curb the menace. A set of mechanisms would be developed to control commercial fraud under the federal law on combating fake goods” Omar Abdullah said.

“Steps will be taken to plug the loopholes in the existing legal framework to prevent commercial fraud. The machinery for conducting inspections is also being strengthened by deploying more inspectors and giving them training on modern methods of preventing commercial fraud. The Department has 80 inspectors now and they would be conducting about 50 inspections every week on an average in various parts of the emirate, where the incidents of commercial fraud are seen more prevalent,” Omar Abdullah said.

“The government of Abu Dhabi is co-ordinating efforts of all stakeholders to fight the illegal commercial practices including piracy and fake products. The support of the police is also being drawn wherever necessary,” he said.

Running till December 19, the exhibition has organised by the DED in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Arab Anti-piracy Union as well as 20 local and foreign companies. The consumers visiting the exhibition will be taught the methods to be adopted to distinguish between genuine and fake products.

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