Seizure of fake face masks in Dubai


Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, many fraudsters are still cashing in on the situation by selling counterfeit face masks.

In a recent raid action conducted by TLG-IP Team alongside Dubai Authorities, thousands of fake face masks were seized. They were imported from China and did not meet the prescribed standards while posing health hazards to the public.

Generally, counterfeit face masks are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH- certified. They are incapable of providing appropriate protection against COVID-19 since they do not meet the stringent testing and quality assurance requirements, thus they are unable to provide the expected level of protection. Fake face masks are usually priced lower than the certified ones in order to appeal to the cost-conscious public.

Certified and authentic face masks can protect people wearing the mask from getting infected, as well as can prevent those who have symptoms from spreading them. Verifying that a face mask is certified is fundamental. In case the face mask does not have the appropriate markings, it is not recommended for use in a hazardous atmosphere.

If the face mask has been certified and approved it will have markings on its packaging, user instructions insert, and/or on the face mask itself. For instance, face masks certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, also known as NIOSH, will have markings of:

  • The NIOSH name or logo;
  • The NIOSH filter classification;
  • The NIOSH test and certification or approval number;
  • The Approval Holder's business name (usually the manufacturer), registered trademark, or an easily understood abbreviation;
  • The model or part number; and
  • The manufacturing lot number.

A face mask cannot legally display such markings unless it has met all stringent testing and quality assurance requirements.


Sanctions as per the Federal Law No. (37) of 1992 concerning Trade Marks

Article (37):

“Shall be sentenced to imprisonment and a fine of at least Dh. 5000 (Five Thousand) or either:

  1. Any person who forges a trade mark registered according to law or imitates same in a way misleading the public and any person who uses with bad faith a forged or imitated trade mark.
  2. Any person who places with bad faith on his products a registered trade mark owned by a third party, or uses such mark without right.
  3. Any person who deliberately sells, offers for sale or negotiation or acquires for sale products having a forged, imitated or illegally placed trade mark, the same applies to any person who deliberately provides or offers the provision of services under a forged, imitated or illegally placed trade mark.”

Article (38):

“Shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year and to a fine of no less than Dh. 5000 (Five Thousand) and no more than Dh. 10,000 (Ten Thousand) or either penalties:

  1. Any person who uses a Trade Mark which may not be registered as provided for in Clauses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Article (3) hereof.
  2. Any person who illegally notes on his mark or commercial papers statements leading to believe that it has been registered or that it distinguishes products and goods other that the ones stated in the register.”

Article (39):

“Any person who repeats one of the offenses stated in Articles (37) and (38) hereof, shall be punished with the same penalty in addition to closing the commercial premises or the exploitation project for a period of no less than (15) days and no more than (6) months and publishing the judgment at the cost of the party adjudged pursuant to the procedures indicated in the Executive Regulations.”