In a move aimed at promoting national products and facilitating their delivery to consumers, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) Wednesday capped display and marketing services fees of local goods. MoCI announced decision No. (6) of 2020 by the Committee that Sets Maximum Prices and Profit Ratios on capping the services fees charged for displaying and marketing locally produced or packaged food and consumer goods at a press conference at its headquarters.
MoCI Quality License and Market Control Department director Mohamed Ahmed al-Bohashem said the decision was issued within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to bolster the national industrial environment, consolidate the achievements of local industries and support national products and showcase their quality. “The decision also falls in line with the ministry’s long-time interest in monitoring national economic developments and transactions in local markets as well as its ongoing efforts to bolster the business environment in a bid to support local dealers, promote national companies and foster their role in contributing to the growth and economic development in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030,” he explained.
The decision and its provisions define outlets as stores, markets and sites that display and market locally produced or packaged food and consumer goods. A local supplier is defined as a company, commercial establishment or individual who produces or packages food and consumer goods.
The MoCI outlined the maximum service fees to be imposed by retail outlets for the display and marketing of locally produced or packaged food and consumer goods at 10% of their sale value. The decision also defines service fees as the percentage, commission or payments that retail outlets secure in exchange for displaying and providing marketing services for locally produced or packaged food and consumer goods. The charge for displaying and marketing locally produced or packaged food and consumer goods not to exceed the maximum fee and payment deadlines for local suppliers should be honoured.
The decision also demands to refrain from practices aimed at imposing service fees, payment deadlines and discriminatory conditions on local suppliers. It should comply with the ratio of displayed local products out of the total percentage of displayed goods of the same type.
The aforementioned services include fixed discount percentage, progressive profit margin, new company registration fees, new product registration fees, shelf usage fees, gondola (a type of product display in shops) shelf fees, loyalty programme, service organisation activities (assortment management), presentation and promotion, seasonal promotional services, offers or promotions, opening of new branches, payment method, exceptional payment methods, product display fees and expired products penalty fine. MoCI has explained the services are not limited to these.
Retail outlets shall also maintain the current service fees for displaying and marketing goods to which this resolution applies if those fees are less than the minimum stipulated in this regard. The payment deadline to settle dues between retail outlets and local suppliers is 1- 15 days for locally produced or packaged perishable food products. The list of products include vegetables and fruits, fresh and chilled fish and seafood, chilled meats and products, chilled poultry, table eggs, milk and dairy products, bread of all kinds (grain and slices).
For other locally produced or packaged food products, its 2-40 days and 3- 60 days for other (non-food) consumer goods or locally produced or packaged goods. The aforementioned deadlines are calculated from the date of submitting the monthly account statement to retail outlets and within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of issuing the invoice.
Retail outlets are prohibited from pressuring dealers to secure service fees and from imposing payment terms or other discriminatory conditions and restrictions in violation of the provisions of the decision. Retail outlets are also prohibited from refusing to deal with local suppliers.
Display and marketing operations have been subjected to controls and procedures such as setting the percentage of displayed local products at 50% at least of the same type of all displayed goods. These goods shall be displayed on middle shelves and priority shall be awarded to the display of national products by placing a “national product” label on shelves.
MoCI said it would intensify its awareness campaign to promote national products while carrying out inspection campaigns to ensure the compliance of retail outlets with decisions. It has urged all parties to report any violations or infringements through the call centre: 16001 and accounts on social media- Twitter @MOCIQATAR and Instagram MOCIQATAR.