New Regulations for Obtaining a License to Use the "MADE IN THE EMIRATES" Mark
The UAE government launched the "Make it in the Emirates" initiative in 2021 to attract and encourage companies to develop and manufacture their products in the UAE. As part of the UAE's efforts to boost the credibility of UAE manufacturers and strengthen the competitiveness of UAE exports in foreign markets, the UAE government has been working on enhancing the "Made in the Emirates" certification.
Specifically, the UAE government released new regulations concerning the use of the "Made in the Emirates" mark (the "Mark") on products under Cabinet Decision No. (16) of 2023 (the "Regulations"). The aim of the Regulations is to support and market locally-manufactured products, enhancing their quality and competitiveness not only regionally, but also globally through use of the identifier. The Regulations make it clear that the Mark can be used in relation to qualifying finished or semi-manufactured products.
The Mark is a unified national mark that classifies and recognises products and goods manufactured in the UAE, provided certain conditions are met. The Mark was previously in use by many companies in the UAE, but there had not been any regulations or standards imposed which gave consumers the appropriate confidence in products bearing the Mark, as there were no minimum quality or qualifying standards to be met. The UAE government has sought to rectify this through the Regulations so that products which have earned the right to use the Mark will convey the quality standards expected of products "Made in the Emirates".
The Regulations apply to all products manufactured in the UAE, including those manufactured in the numerous economic free zones which exist in the UAE.
The Mark can be printed, fixed, attached or engraved on the products and goods which have gained approval to use the Mark. The Mark can also be used for advertisement or promotional purposes for the approved products and goods only.
In order to be able to use the Mark, you will need to apply for a license, as detailed below.
The Ministry of Industry and Technology (the "Ministry") established the procedures for obtaining a Certificate to License the Use of the Mark. Applications will only be considered if submitted by licensed UAE entities. In order for UAE entities to use the Mark, they are required to apply for a license to use the Mark in order to distinguish and promote their products and goods with such origin.
When submitting the application to use the Mark, several documents will be required as outlined below, all of which the Ministry has ensured will remain confidential under the Regulations (unless prior written consent is obtained from the applicant or based on a judicial ruling), and which shall be valid for a period of no less than 30 days from the submission date.
- The Industrial Production Permit issued by the Ministry.
- The Certificate of Conformity, which is the document issued by the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology confirming the conformity of the relevant product or batch of such products to the approved standards or technical regulations.
- A document evidencing the fulfilment of the requirements set out in Federal Law No. (10) of 2018 concerning Product Safety and its Implementing Regulations or any applicable law related to product safety.
- A document evidencing the fulfilment of the requirements and provisions of the UAE Regulation for Control on Halal Products, and the obtainment of Halal Certificates for Products that are subject to the provisions of the Regulations. The Halal Certificate is a document that certifies that the products, services or production systems specified in it are in compliance with the provisions of Islamic Shariah in accordance with the UAE Regulation for Control on Halal Products.
Once an application is submitted and no further information or documentation is requested or required from the Ministry, then the Ministry will either approve or reject the application within 15 working days from the submission date.
If approved, the Ministry will issue the applicant the Licence Certificate, which shows the company is authorized to use the Mark, which will be valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. The approval can be renewed for additional three-year periods provided an application for renewal is submitted within 30 days from the expiry of the Certificate. If rejected, then the Ministry will provide reasoning for such rejection.
The document requirements above suggest that where a company is manufacturing a range of products in the UAE, where the products fall across different categories (for example, different Certificates of Conformity have been issued), then a separate application for each product area will be required in order to use the Mark.
How to use the Mark
The Ministry is the exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights related to the Mark and shall approve the shape, design, font, colours and format of the Mark to be used by each licensee. Licensees will also need to follow specific guidelines set out in the policy guide issued by the Ministry for the use of the Mark. Therefore, licensees will not be permitted to alter or modify the Mark in any way and doing so could lead to fines or penalties.
It is important to note that when considering the use of the Mark, the Ministry will also take into account specific products and product labels should not bear any signs, names, symbols, pictures or writings that would offend any religion, belief and their symbols, or that contradict the values and customs of society, or that are prohibited or forbidden by any legislation in force in the UAE.
Once granted, the Mark can only be used in relation to the qualifying and approved products. UAE companies who handle locally-manufactured products as well as products manufactured overseas will need to ensure that the Mark is only used on the approved products manufactured in the UAE.
The Regulations also provide power to the Ministry to carry out inspections of products once a Certificate has been issued, in order to ensure compliance with the Regulations. Penalties can be levied against any misuse of the Mark, or where products no longer conform. The scale of the penalties are yet to be issued.
The UAE's efforts with these initiatives do not go unnoticed as it completes significant milestones in shaping the UAE as an emerging manufacturing hub and global destination for leading future industries.
If you require any assistance with submitting applications for the Certificate to License the Use of the Mark, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.