With the aim of setting up joint rules and foundations for commercial protection within the Free Zone

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has signed a joint cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company “Masdar” on protecting consumers, trademarks, control and inspection of markets within the Free Zone in Masdar City, which will enhance the joint cooperation between both sides to set up rules and foundations for commercial protection and expanding its scope.

This agreement, which has been signed by H.E. Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of the Department and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar Company, comes as part of ADDED and Masdar’s interest in promoting the business ecosystem within the free zones in Abu Dhabi. As well as its dealings with local markets, protection of rights and ownership of trademarks and consolidation of inspection and supervision visits to the markets.

H.E. Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of the Department, stressed the ADDED’s interest in promoting the joint efforts with the free zones’ authorities in Abu Dhabi to ensure the protection of foreign companies rights and concurrently enhancing consumers trust, which in turn provides a stimulating investment ecosystem across the emirate.

H.E. also commended the efforts of the free zones authorities in Abu Dhabi, as well as its keenness to constantly coordinate with all local authorities to ensure the provision of a package of procedures and commercial protection rules in accordance with laws and regulations applicable in the UAE, which in turn enhances its role as a centre for foreign direct investments in the region.  

For his part, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar Company, noted that “Masdar”, under its authorities, seeks to organize work and supervise markets in the free zone within its jurisdiction, which in turn authorises it to issue multi-activity commercial and service licences for commercial establishments. As the cooperation agreement with ADDED aims to enhance the integration of roles in order to ensure the protection of companies rights, trademarks and consumers for creating a competitive environment.

Under the agreement, ADDED undertakes to address the complaints referred to it from “Masdar” in accordance with the applicable procedures, in addition to receiving all consumers’ complaints against commercial establishments operating within Masdar’s free zone.

The agreement also stipulates that in case it is necessary to take an administrative action, the ADDED shall refer the complaint and recommendations to “Masdar” Company to impose the penalties and reconciliation thereof in accordance with the schedule of administrative penalties and applicable procedures. While, in case the complainant is a “free zone” establishment, the relevant procedures against it including seizure, incident statement, reconciliation request, violation report and/or notification, shall be taken by “Masdar”. However, in case the complaint is related to a branch within the free zone and its head office is situated within the Department’s jurisdiction, the Department is entitled to address the complaint directly with the head office.

According to the agreement, “Masdar” Company delegates the ADDED to receive all consumers’ complaints against commercial establishments operating within the free zone in Masdar City. While “Masdar” applies all procedures of control and seizure in accordance with the procedures applicable in the Department, especially for counterfeit and forged goods.

Furthermore, Masdar is responsible for taking all necessary procedures against the facilities registered with it to keep them under obligation to change their trade name in case it conflicts with a registered and protected trademark, based on a formal complaint from the owner of the original trademark. It also delegates the Department’s inspectors to carry out control and inspection processes to detect commercial violations within the scope and jurisdictions of Masdar in Abu Dhabi.

The agreement also stated that goods that are seized or controlled shall not be released from Masdar’s free zone until its incident is settled either through reconciliation or judicial order. While the Department’s officers who are tasked with judicial control shall be authorized to access the commercial facilities registered with Masdar.     

Moreover, the agreement gives Masdar the power to issue a final decision with temporary closure of the violating facility within its jurisdiction according to a recommendation by the ADDED. The agreement also provides for a joint regulation to a number of relevant clauses between the Department and Masdar such as withdrawals and awards through implementation of the procedures applicable at the Department in this regard. While Masdar issues the required permission thereof and appoints an officer to monitor withdrawal and electronic applications used, contacting winners and following up withdrawal results in accordance with the Department’s procedures and regulations.
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