*13 penalties imposed for violations
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has said it is pursuing its intensive inspection campaigns in the run-up to Eid al-Adha.
In a press statement on Thursday, the MEC also stressed that the inspection campaigns - targeting shops, malls and retail outlets specialising in the sale of Eid accessories - would continue during Eid al-Adha.
The retail outlets covered by the initiative 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, sweets and nuts stores, barbershops, beauty salons and car washing centres.
The ministry is also monitoring promotional offers across markets and the subsidised sheep initiative (1439H) to ensure the compliance of suppliers (retail outlets) with their obligations under Law No 8 of 2008 on consumer protection.
Targeting more than 1,800 retail outlets, the campaigns have resulted in the imposition of 13 penalties for various violations, the MEC has said.
The violations include missing price tags, offering unlicensed promotions, failing to display the promotional licence in a prominent place, lack of invoices, charging consumers more than the advertised price, lack of clear product-related data, missing Arabic product labels, failing to Arabise invoices, in addition to displaying and selling counterfeit products that bear international trademarks, the statement notes.
The MEC has urged merchants and retail outlets to comply with laws and circulars it issues and to provide high-quality products and services to consumers. It has also cautioned against taking advantage of events and holidays to raise prices and exploit consumers.
Further, the ministry has urged 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 refund consumers or offer the service properly, refrain from displaying and selling expired and substandard products, refrain from charging consumers more than the advertised price, refrain from offering promotions without obtaining a licence from the department concerned, refrain from increasing prices with obtaining the approval of the department concerned 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.
Traditionally, the MEC intensifies its inspection campaigns ahead of and during Eid al-Adha to monitor and regulate markets and commercial activities as well as to crack down on price manipulation and uncover violations in a bid to protect consumer rights.
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. It 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, and continuously offers tips in this regard.
In this context, the MEC has advised 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 dates, country of origin and price. They should also check for clear price tags and be aware of the data required to file a complaint against the shop or supplier.
“The Ministry of Economy and Commerce constantly provides tips to raise awareness of consumers’ rights and duties of consumers, which comes within the framework of its efforts to educate the community on various life aspects and to promote a culture of sound consumption in the State,” the statement adds.
The MEC has urged all consumers to report violations or submit complaints and suggestions through the call centre: 16001, email: [email protected], Twitter: MEC_QATAR, Instagram MEC_QATAR and the ministry’s app on iPhone and Android devices: MEC_QATAR
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