New UAE anti-fraud law a positive step, paper says

WAM ABU DHABI, 30th April, 2013 (WAM) — A UAE local daily said that the tough new federal law on fraud and fake goods is an important improvement on the UAE’s existing legislation against bad trading. While some may wink at buying fakes of luxury items, far too often there is a real danger to life and health from fakes and it is right that the new law covers the entire range of goods on offer in the UAE.

“The new law is a significant step for the UAE as it moves to become a fully responsible part of the global market, in which there is no place for fraudulent goods”, said “Gulf News” in its editorial on Tuesday.

There are far too many instances of fraud in car parts, food, animal feed, medicines, crops, all of which have a direct bearing on the well-being of people in the UAE.

“In addition, all too often in the past, when fake goods have been discovered, they have been ordered to be exported out of the country. This should stop and the courts should order the destruction of all such fakes, to stop unscrupulous traders from re-exporting their fakes to other markets, maybe in the GCC or further afield”, added the paper.

The draft law offers tough new sentences of up to two years in jail, a Dh1 million fine, as well as being named and shamed. Under the new law, a court will be allowed to order the closure of a business for up to six months for selling fake goods and repeat offenders (of whom there must be many) will face having their sentences doubled or even have their trade licences revoked.

It is also a very welcome development that the law makes it illegal to sell a fake, even if the buyer knows that he or she is buying a fake. This allows the authorities to crack down on traders in some UAE markets who are offering blatant fakes of luxury brands to tourists and residents who want to enjoy the product without the expense of buying the real thing, with all parties to the transaction operating in the full knowledge that the goods are not real.