UAE seized almost 168,300 counterfeit goods last year

Almost a third of the raids were on fake products flown in as air cargo

Boxes of fake iPhones are seized by customs officers in the UAE. Wam
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More than 168,000 fake bags, phones and jewellery were seized at the UAE's borders last year.

Customs officers found 168,251 items, including boxes of counterfeit iPhones, fake branded clothes as well as perfumes and shoes during 67 raids.

It was a marginal decrease from the 169,587 fake products seized on 63 occasions in 2018.

The Federal Customs Authority said the limited decline was due to an increase of small consignments seized in regular and courier mail, which was down to the continued rise of e-commerce.

Counterfeit and pirated goods cost the world between $923 billion to 1.3 trillion in 2013. The International Chamber of Commerce forecasts global losses from fake products to more than double by 2022, reaching up to $2.81 trillion.

Ali Alneyadi, commissioner of customs and chairman of Authority, said the UAE was committed to doing its part to stop piracy.

"Customs institutions in UAE are the most crucial entities, mandated with protecting intellectual property rights in world trade," he said.

"The UAE has placed intellectual property rights protection on the top of its strategic priorities."

He said local customs offices worked closely with other countries and international organisations to track and intercept prohibited goods.

Almost 30 per cent of the confiscated goods last year were fake hand bags, followed by phones and accessories, which accounted for 12 per cent.

Fake clothes made up 7.5 per cent of all seized products while perfumes and shoes accounted for almost 5 per cent each.

Other items confiscated in smaller amounts included glasses and jewellery.

A third of the raids happened on counterfeit products flown in as air cargo. Regular and courier mail represented 31 per cent of the attempted fake imports. Marine transport accounted for 19 per cent and 16 per cent were at land borders.