The US has removed the United Arab Emirates from its intellectual property watchlist after the Gulf country took steps to combat the trade of counterfeit goods, according to state news agency WAM.
Efforts to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods at Ajman China Mall and increased efforts by Dubai Customs to stop the import of fake products led to the UAE’s status being upgraded on the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 Report for 2021.
The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention also resolved intellectual property concerns regarding pharmaceutical products, according to WAM.
The country’s Federal Customs department also began publishing annual intellectual property enforcement statistics, increasing transparency.
Publicly available statistics for 2019 showed that authorities made 63 seizures, confiscating 168,251 counterfeit items.
A growth in ecommerce led to more seizures from mail shipments, which accounted for 31 percent of all seizures in 2019 according to the Federal Customs Authority.
Fake handbags and wallets accounted for 29.85 percent of seizures in 2019, and 11.94 percent of seized goods were counterfeit mobile phones and accessories.
The majority (29.8 percent) of counterfeit goods seized in 2019 came from the Philippines.
Commenting on the announcement, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, said, “The USTR’s decision is encouraging news… Over the last year, we have worked hard to strengthen the UAE’s IPP framework in many important ways. This decision is an endorsement of our progress. “
He also said the UAE “is committed to implementing robust IPP regulatory standards, including having an infringement and enforcement framework that upholds these standards.”