Dated: 05-09-2013
UAE govt, industry bracing to check counterfeit products

Alarmed by the rise in counterfeit products and violation of copy rights, the UAE government and the global manufacturers are joining hands to check the malpractice in the market. The buying capacity of the Gulf market particularly the UAE is luring fake companies to dump their counterfeit products in the market.

There’s been rise in reports highlighting the counterfeit products being marketed. Department of Economic Development (DED) is warning consumers not to buy counterfeit products as they are not only of poor quality, but can also be dangerous too. The government bodies such as DED and Dubai Municipality (DM) along with the industry are actively participating in checking the counterfeit products.

Recently, under the patronage of DED’s Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division, kitchen and bath industry giant Kohler Middle East has succeeded in seizing and destroying over 700 counterfeit products located at a major furniture store in Dubai. Comprising more than 30,000 associates, Kohler Co is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies.

Mohammed Nada, Regional Marketing Manager (Middle East), Kohler

Speaking to Clean Middle East, Mohammed Nada, Regional Marketing Manager (Middle East), Kohler, said: “No impact on volume, sales have been improving for the past three years. Main damage that Kohler has been seriously fighting is the brand image. We always ask customers to buy products from registered and approved dealers and distributors to avoid such issues.”

The sanitary products labelled ‘KOHLAR’ were traced by a company which refused to disclose the name of the manufacturer. Local authorities fined the company $13,859 and ordered the destruction of all of its creations. Investigations are underway to determine the identity of the manufacturer, possibly a sanitary ware company headquartered in China. “In addition to these practices being harmful to the market, the products present a degree of risk for their purchaser,” Jerome Michel, Kohler EMEA Managing Director, said.

During the recent raids, DED has seized more than 12,000 fake items for designer-branded items such as handbags, leather items, watches, accessories, perfumes, cosmetic products and clothing. In 2012, the Customs authorities seized nearly 115 million articles, totalling more than €1.2 billion (Dh5.5bn) in value. Medicines, packaging materials and cigarettes were the most confiscated goods last year.

Nada further added that the demand for Kohler products has been increasing across all segments and categories and added “Lack of innovation and easy sales” are the prime reason for counterfeit products.

The UAE government has recently revised and strengthened intellectual property laws to protect the interests of genuine manufacturers. It’s reported in the media that China, Hong Kong, Greece and India shipped more counterfeit goods. “However, customers who buy the real products know the difference,” said Michel. “Kohler is working closely with the UAE government to check the malpractice of counterfeit products,” adds Nada.

The raid is part of Kohler’s ongoing efforts to protect its intellectual property rights and consistently monitor its products in the market. The industry pioneer adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards counterfeit products to guarantee consumer protection. Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co has over 50 manufacturing locations worldwide. The American major manufactures kitchen and bath products, engines and power systems, premier furniture, cabinetry and tiles.

Mohamed Nada, Kohler’s Regional Marketing Manager, said: “We always go to great lengths in ensuring that our customers receive top quality products. Hence, we were adamant on tracing the source of these products and completely destroying them. The operation has been implemented with the highly appreciated and continuous support of DED’s Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kohler has announced new parallel collection in the UAE market taking the kitchen and bath design and technology a step further forward. Characterized with its elegant design and customized comfort, Kohler’s Parallel collection invites its customers to be creative and compose their own made-to-measure, personalized wash-station.

Michel said: “Parallel is all about personalized elegance, style and comfort and we are proud to introduce this new bathroom collection in the UAE where we are confident that these key features will match the taste of our customers in the UAE.”

Kohler has recently launched its all-new Struktura bathroom collection in the UAE market. The new Struktura collection combines ergonomics, functionality and simplicity with warm, restrained elegance. Intended for property development projects and individual or multiple housing units, the range is suitable for all kinds of bathrooms.

“Kohler brand is a registered mark and the government has been very supportive with all the issues that was brought forward. They also acted very quickly in response to requests placed. Currently looking to expand vastly in Egypt, Yemen, and Iraq,” reveals Nada.

“Parallel naturally makes a statement with its refined fluid lines and impeccable finishes and colours. Our customers can now personalize and customize their own made-to-measure wash-stations with special attention given to the interior and exterior finishes on this collection to ensure capturing our customers’ minds and hearts,” adds Nada.

Parallel’s fluid lines and impeccable finishes exude two different feels, depending on the vessels basin; in other words, streamlined styling with the Rêve vessel - or harmonious elegance with the Presqu’île basin.


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