By Andy Sambidge
Economy minister says law will toughen penalties to combat fraud, counterfeiting
A new law to combat commercial fraud and counterfeiting is in its final stages and is expected to be enforced next year, the UAE's Minister of Economy said on Tuesday.
Sultan Al Mansoori said the new draft law for consumer protection would amend some articles to bring in tougher penalties.
These would range from AED5,000 to AED1m for the most serious attempts at fraud, he said in an emailed statement.
He said commercial fraud and counterfeiting were "central issues that directly affect economic growth and public safety, and also limit innovation and creativity apart from generating huge loses for companies and governments."
"Ministry is currently working on a new draft law to combat commercial fraud and counterfeiting, and it is now in its final stages and is expected to be enforced next year," the minister added.
The Department of Commercial Control at the Ministry has organised around 19,000 inspection tours in the UAE during the first nine months of 2011 and imposed 1,473 fines.
Of the total inspections, 8,072 were directly related to consumer protection, 10,063 were related to counterfeit goods, 558 to assess whether copyright laws were followed, 109 to ensure that laws of trademarks were being practiced and 186 tours to factories.
A total of 772 fines were issued in relation to consumer protection, 595 for counterfeit goods, 71 with respect to copyright violations, 31 related to trademark laws and four during the inspection of factories.