In a wide ranging and surprise inspection campaign in the Industrial Area, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) booked a company for selling and promoting counterfeit spare parts (non-genuine) bearing international trademarks.
The campaign comes within the framework of the MEC’s efforts to monitor markets and economic activity across the country in accordance with laws and regulations related to consumer protection and combating commercial fraud.
The campaign also aims at achieving balance between national economic interests on the one hand and consumer interest on the other.
The MEC had received information about some companies in the Industrial Area promoting counterfeit spare parts that bear international trademarks. During the campaigns, the employees of one company were caught unloading spare parts and packing them in boxes bearing the trademark of international companies with the intention of selling them in the local market.
Some of the seized counterfeit auto spares.
The seized counterfeit goods include parts such as timing belt, clutch hub, oil tank, clutch and oil filter.
Subsequently, the authorities initiated procedures to examine counterfeit goods at accredited laboratories. The test results confirmed that seized goods were counterfeit.
The MEC added that promoting counterfeit and non-conforming spare parts causes serious damage, reduces vehicle life and increases the likelihood of fatal road accidents.
Selling counterfeit product is a clear violation of the provisions of Article 6 of Law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection, which prohibits "the sale, display, promotion and advertisement of any counterfeit or spoiled goods. Goods shall be considered spoiled or counterfeit if they do not conform to with standards, are unusable or expired."
Selling counterfeit goods also represents a violation of Article (7) of Law No. 8 of 2008. Article 7 requires suppliers to clearly display on the product’s package the type and nature of the item as well as other relevant data. The law also requires the seller to display warning against risks about the use of the product while prohibiting the display of fraudulent descriptions, advertisements and misleading statements.
The sale of counterfeit goods also violates Article (14) of Ministerial Decree No. 68 of 2012 that outlines regulations for Law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection. The decree prohibits “suppliers from describing, advertising, or displaying items using false or deceptive statements. The description, advertisement or presentation of a particular good is considered misleading if it contains a false presentation, statement or allegation that would directly or indirectly create a misleading impression among consumers.”
All the counterfeit products have been seized. The shop has been referred to competent authorities for further action.
Violations of law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection result in penalties including administrative closures and fines ranging from QR3,000 to QR1mn.
The MEC stressed that it will not tolerate any violations of the Consumer Protection Law and will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations. The ministry said it will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to competent authorities, who will in turn take appropriate action against perpetrators in order to protect consumer rights.
The MEC has urged all customers to report any violations to its Consumer Protection and Anti-Commercial Fraud Department through the following channels: Call centre: 16001, e-mail: [email protected]
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