UAE Implements Strict Penalties for Counterfeit Goods Sales: Up to Dh1 Million Fine and Possible Jail Time

UAE Implements Strict Penalties for Counterfeit Goods Sales: Up to Dh1 Million Fine and Possible Jail Time

The market for counterfeit products is approximated to have a worth ranging from $2 to $3 trillion, affecting both businesses and individuals.

Counterfeit products pose a worldwide issue, particularly for nations that serve as significant trade centers. The UAE, in particular, handles imports and exports worth billions of dollars annually, and it is a global hub for these transactions. To safeguard against the passage of counterfeit goods through its borders, the government has enacted rigorous regulations and legislation.

The counterfeit goods market, with a value estimated between $2 to $3 trillion, has repercussions for both businesses and individuals.

According to Mahmood Shakir Al Mashhadani, a senior associate at Galadari Advocates and Legal Consultants, in the UAE, it is the ethical duty of residents to inform the Economic Crimes Section of the UAE Ministry of Interior about counterfeit goods, providing details about counterfeit items and the context in which they were found.

If large quantities of counterfeit products are discovered in warehouses or shipping containers, these items will be confiscated and relocated to a different storage site. The individual or entity accused of involvement in counterfeiting is accountable for all expenses linked to storing, transporting, and disposing of the confiscated goods, as explained by the speaker. Furthermore, once a criminal judgment has been conclusively reached, complainants have the legal right to initiate civil lawsuits to seek compensation for any damages incurred.

In certain instances, an expert appointed by the court may assess the extent of losses, and a consulting report can provide additional evidence to support claims for damages. The plaintiff also has the option to commission their own report from an external expert and present it to the court.


Al Mashhadani emphasized that the penalties for the possession and sale of counterfeit goods are determined by the court and can encompass fines, seizure, destruction, imprisonment, and deportation.

He clarified that according to Article 49 of Federal Decree Law No. 36 of 2021 on Trademarks, stringent penalties are imposed, such as imprisonment and a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh1 million, or either of these two.

These penalties apply in cases of trademark forgery, where the trademark has been registered in compliance with the regulations of this Decree-Law, or when counterfeiting a trademark results in public confusion regarding goods or services linked to the original trademark or those closely resembling it, he explained.

Violators can also be penalized for knowingly using a counterfeit or forged trademark for business purposes or knowingly importing or exporting items bearing a counterfeit or forged trademark, among other offenses.

Al Mashhadani further noted that it falls upon the accused to provide proof of their unawareness regarding the counterfeit nature of the goods or to inform the exporter.

News Source: Khaleej Times

- Advertisement -
Dark Light