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Dubai Customs Celebrates IPR World Day 2010

Ahmed Butti Ahmed: simplification of procedures is inline with compliance ensuring society, economy and human protection. Combating counterfeiting is top business priority at Customs. Honoring winning schools in Dubai Customs IPR Award.

Dubai Customs affirmed that Combating counterfeiting is considered a top business priority at the Department inline with its vision towards being the leading Customs administration in the world supporting legitimate trade. This also helps achieve the Department’s mission in safeguarding the community and sustaining economic development which is tackled in coordination and cooperation with the respective local and international entities.

H.E. Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Dubai Customs Director General announced that the number of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) infringement seizures which were made by Dubai Customs during the first annual quarter of 2010 has reached 151 as apposed to 64 seizures that were accounted in the same period in 2009. This means an increase by about 136%, reflecting Dubai Customs seriousness and firmness in protecting IPR.

He also pointed out that the number of last year seizures with regards to IPR infringement has reached 393 seizures in total. They comprised of various products, among which a seizure of about 7 million counterfeited pills and another one of 1.5 million packs of personal care products.

In a speech delivered by Mr. Yousif Al Sahlawi, Senior Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Dubai Customs on behalf of H.E. Ahmed Butti Ahmed during the IPR World Day celebration on Monday, April 26th, 2010 he confirmed:" We are delighted by the fact that this year’s slogan “Innovation- Linking the World” taken by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) corresponds with Dubai Customs aspirations and commitment towards protecting the creative people and producers’ rights in the different fields.”

He also stressed that the UAE values and heritage constitute a fundamental groundwork for keeping pace with the elements of the current age as well as development requirements. “They entail our duty towards IPR, in its tangible or intangible forms. Stemmed from our Islamic teachings, we wholeheartedly support protecting rights and properties.” He added.

“We hope this year’s slogan can open the door for reinforcing communications for the benefit of protecting the innovators’ rights. This shall be our common responsibility as governments, individuals and private sectors.” He further noted.

He said that the simplification of the adopted procedures in Dubai Customs which are aimed at facilitating traders and clients’ jobs is inline with the compliance principle, ensuring society, economy and human protection as well as adopting a strict policy with respect to seizures and smugglers.

The Award took place at Grand Hyatt Dubai Hotel where the participating schools winning the first three places of Dubai Customs IPR Award were honored in its last session.

Mr. Al Sahlawi said:” Since it is the main deriving force behind creativity and inspiration and the distinguished outcome of human’s individuality, we value IPR the most as it ensures the continuity of success and human’s safety”.

Mr. Al Sahlawi added that Dubai Customs highly recognizes the significance of IPR and enforces strict measures against counterfeited and duplicated goods that violate trade mark owners’ rights.

He also pointed out that fulfilling this role encompasses the Department’s keenness to have an efficient cadre as it aims to cater for them and further improve competencies and abilities by providing them with continuous training opportunities to ensure highest quality performance. Therefore, Dubai Customs take into consideration Dubai’s position as a vital regional hub in the field of international trade movement besides the huge cargo volume Dubai handles effectively due to the advanced infrastructure and top quality services it provides through its ports, airports and entries.

Dubai Customs efforts continue to raise awareness about IPR in the community as well as the dangers of consuming counterfeited and duplicated products on humans’ health throughout the year. It does so by conducting forums, workshops as well as educational lectures in schools, universities and institutes where all society segments are addressed.

Moreover, the Department launched 4 years ago Dubai Customs IPR Award in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in order to encourage students to come up with initiatives and productive projects in the IPR field and to raise their awareness about the dangers of commercial fraud on health, safety and economy besides participating in the relevant local and international conferences.

Among these efforts was creating a team which comprised of representatives from Customs as well as a number of ministries, authorities, federal and local departments and Brand Owners Protection Group (BGP) two years ago. The team that was called “IPR Protection Team” made great efforts which generated fruitful outcomes in increasing awareness about this cause.

Mr. Al Sahlawi expressed his appreciation towards the efforts made by the BGP and their cooperation with Dubai Customs round the year. He also called for increasing coordination and reinforcing cooperation and communication with the customs authorities and the respective parties in different countries in order to support the efforts aimed at combating piracy and IPR infringement and to preserve humans’ health, the communities and the economies of the countries and brand owner companies.

During the Award, the names of winning participating schools in Dubai Customs IPR Award 4th session were announced. The Dubai Customs IPR Award which is organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Education had 15 participations from government and private schools in the UAE that submitted participations on IPR.

Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Sharki School in Fujairah won first place of the contest for its distinguished project “Commercial fraud damages the economy and threatens humans’ health”. Then came second Al Khaleej AlArabi School in Sharjah which won for its project: “Hand in hand towards a well-educated society”. On the third place, Al Ruya School Secondary School in Ras Al Khaimah won for its project “My idea guarantees my future”. Representatives of these three schools and the winning students were awarded.

Furthermore, a number of law firms which recorded the highest number of trademark infringements complaints as well as those with the highest number of registered trademarks at Dubai Customs were honored during the IPR World Award. Besides, Customs Centers with the highest amount of IPR infringement seizures were honored as well in recognition of their role in this field.

Celebrating the IPR World Day 2010, Dubai Customs conducts a three-day workshop with the participation of its IPR Department along with the Consumer Protection Department at the Economic Development Department and the Central Laboratory at Dubai Municipality and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Each side is to shed light on a specific type of product to introduce the participants to the similarities and differences between original and fake products and the duplication and counterfeiting techniques in order to put a stop for consuming counterfeited products which threaten humans’ health and reflects negatively on the economies of the countries in the world.

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