DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — RELX International, the responsible multinational electronic cigarettes company, has successfully completed in-depth training for officials from the Abu Dhabi Customs Authority and Department of Economic Development (DED).
Prior to this, RELX International held a similar training session for Ras Al Khaimah Customs Authority officials. To boost their effectiveness, RELX International collaborated with leading intellectual property (IP) firm SABA IP.
The elaborate programmes demonstrate the leading vaping brand’s commitment to fighting the illicit trade of e-cigarette (e-cig) products with authorities and government bodies and highlights its dedication to the RELX Pledge, which includes its pioneering Golden Shield Program.
The training covered several aspects including: identifying legal products from illegal ones (smuggled/counterfeit); raising awareness and educating people about the consequences of the illegal trade of e-cigs; sharing research and intelligence on identifying illegal trading activities; collaborating with government officials to track and confiscate counterfeit products, as well as developing and implementing product authentication, tracking and tracing technologies.
Contraband and counterfeit e-cigs are produced in unregulated facilities and pose a serious health risk to legal age consumers and minors . Counterfeit e-cigs have been scientifically proven to be dangerous for several reasons: using inferior e-liquid formula; the e-liquid contains harmful substances; the capsules frequently leak; the capsules are manufactured without a quality certificate, and there’s significant misinformation about the nicotine dosage in the capsules.
“The training sessions for the Abu Dhabi Customs Authority, Department of Economic Development (DED) and Ras Al Khaimah Customs Authority showcase RELX International’s commitment, as a responsible company, to working with local authorities, investigation firms and e-commerce platforms to identify and remove contraband and counterfeit e-cigarette products from the market, as part of the RELX Pledge.
“We are pleased to have been able to complete these focused training sessions, having completed similar sessions for Saudi Customs Authorities in May,” said Robert Naouss, External Affairs Director – MENA & Europe at RELX International.
RELX International established the Golden Shield Program in August 2019 to prevent the production and sale of illicit goods. Since its inauguration, it has had a significant impact, removing over 550,000 fake products from the market, plus over 77,000 websites.
In line with the firm’s commitment to protecting the rights of legal e-cigarette users and fighting the illicit trade of e-cigs under the Golden Shield Program, additional training sessions are planned in countries across the Middle East including in Egypt and Jordan.
Under the RELX Pledge initiative, the Golden Shield Program, Guardian Program and Green Shoots, covers areas from product development to sales and preventing and discouraging the use of e-cigarette products by minors, through joint efforts with retailers to step up on-site identification.
The Golden Shield Program also seeks to empower consumers with the knowledge to verify authentic products via three different methods: by authentication code on the packaging of genuine projects; a laser label that when viewed from different angles will display the letters ‘L’ and ‘X’, and via QR code on the pods.