Sharjah Customs establishes IP Rights Enforcement Unit

United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Customs is in the process of establishing an IP Rights Enforcement Unit to combat the importation of imitation or counterfeit products and assist trademark owners in the protection of their rights.

Inspectors from Sharjah Customs will be attending specialized training courses for capacity building, as well as training conducted in coordination with law firms and trademark owners to assist in the detection of imitation or counterfeit goods.

Upon detection of counterfeit goods by inspectors, trademark owners that wish to file a complaint about the infringement of a registered trademark must follow the Procedures to Claim and Control Products, as published by Sharjah Customs. These procedures include submission of a written complaint with copies of the trademark registrations that are believed to have been infringed and payment of the prescribed fee. Trademark owners must also:

  • provide a written undertaking to bear the costs of impoundment, inspection, storage and any prejudicial delay resulting from an unsubstantiated complaint; and

  • pay a refundable deposit to cover such costs.

In order to use the enforcement measures effectively, the following requirements should be borne in mind:

  • Each complaint must be submitted in Arabic or along with an Arabic translation during official working hours by the trademark owner or its legal representative;

  • A copy of valid certificates of registration of the trademark suspected of being infringed must be made available;

  • A copy of the authenticated and translated legal agency document must be included;

  • A written undertaking to bear the costs of impoundment, inspection, storage and any delay resulting from an unsubstantiated complaint must be submitted;

  • The cost of initiating a file for recording a trademark for each class or single trademark is Dh200;

  • Filing a formal written complaint of infringement of a registered trademark incurs a fee of Dh2,000;

  • A Dh5,000 deposit to cover impoundment, inspection, transport and tracking expenses must be made;

  • An extra fee of Dh500 will be levied in the event that an urgent complaint is filed; and

  • Additional fees of Dh10,000 are levied for complaints filed during holidays.

In case the trademark owner or its agent files a complaint against a shipment seized in a regular customs inspection, all necessary duties must be paid with the exception of the deposit.

Simmy Rease, Al Tamimi & Company - Advocates and Legal Consultants, Dubai

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