The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced that it is carrying out intensive inspection campaigns before and during Eid al-Fitr.
The initiative targets various commercial activities across Qatar, including shops selling Eid accessories, the MEC has said in a statement.
The activities covered by the campaigns include men’s and women’s accessories shops, readymade garments and children's clothing, perfumes and accessories, shoes, textile shops for men and women, tailoring shops, gold and jewellery stores as well as fruits and vegetables shops, stores selling sweets, salons for men and women and car washing centres, according to the ministry.
The campaigns are aimed at ensuring the compliance of suppliers (retail outlets) with their obligations under Law No 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection. The MEC traditionally intensifies its inspection campaigns before and during Eid to monitor markets and commercial activities in a bid to crack down on price manipulation and violations in order to protect consumer rights, the statement notes.
The inspection campaigns come within the framework of the ministry’s Ramadan initiatives under the theme ‘#Aqal_Min_Al_Wajeb’.
Weight of products being checked at a store.
The MEC had announced round-the-clock inspection campaigns before, throughout and after the holy month of Ramadan. The campaigns target all commercial activities and sectors across Qatar to ensure the compliance of suppliers with laws and implementing regulations governing commercial activities in order to uncover and crack down on violations.
The ministry has urged merchants and retail outlets to comply with laws and ministerial circulars and to provide high-quality products and services to consumers while cautioning against taking advantage of events and holidays to raise prices and exploit consumers.
It has advised merchants to advertise the price of products and services, display explanatory product labels, use Arabic in product labels and ads, clearly label discounted products and show the price before and after the discount period, clearly specify the service’s features, characteristics and price, issue complete invoices in Arabic, comply with the fruits and vegetables price bulletin, offer a warranty for a period that corresponds with the nature of the service and to refund consumers or offer the service properly, refrain from displaying and selling expired and substandard products, refrain from charging consumers higher than the advertised price, refrain from offering promotions without obtaining a licence from the competent department, refrain from increasing prices with obtaining the approval of the competent department and refrain from falsely describing or advertising a product in a misleading manner.
Violations of Law No 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection result in penalties ranging from administrative closure to fines between QR3,000 and QR1mn.
The ministry has stressed that it will not tolerate any violations of the Consumer Protection Law and its regulations, and will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations. The MEC will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to the competent authorities, who will, in turn, take appropriate action against the perpetrators in order to protect consumer rights.
The ministry also aims to promote awareness among consumers about their rights and duties by continuously offering tips in this regard. This comes within the framework of its efforts to educate the community on various life aspects and promote a culture of sound consumption in the State.
In this context, the MEC has urged all consumers to request for a detailed invoice, check the product’s quality and compare its price before and after discounts. Consumers should also check for product-related data such as the production and expiry date, country of origin and price, as well for clear price tags and be aware of the data required to file a complaint against the shop or supplier.
Consumers have been advised to report violations or submit complaints and suggestions through the call centre: 16001, email: [email protected]
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90 fines issued
Inspection campaigns during Ramadan targeted more than 7,000 shops across the country and resulted in 90 fines, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce said on Wednesday.
Violations included missing price tags, non-compliance with the vegetables and fruits price bulletin, offering unlicensed promotions, misleading weights, missing invoices, charging customers more than the advertised price, missing country-of-origin labels, failing to display product descriptions in Arabic, failing to Arabise bills and posting two price tags on the same product.