The maximum fees for services collected by outlets from local food producers shall not exceed 10% of the actual value of sales, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced Wednesday.
This is stipulated under Article (3) of Decision No (7) by the committee tasked with determining maximum prices and profit ratios.
The decision is within the framework of the Ministry's efforts to protect consumer rights, ensure price control, regulate markets to improve their functioning and support national products.
The following services provided to suppliers are noted in particular: invoice discount, scheduling service fees, shelf service fees, advertising service fees and promotional service fees.
Article (2) states that the decision shall apply to fees for services charged by outlets to local suppliers of locally-produced food commodities: vegetables, fruits, fish, fresh and chilled seafood, chilled meat, chilled poultry, eggs, milk, dairy products and bakery products.
The outlets shall maintain their current rates if they fall below the maximum percentage specified in Article (3). Article (4) requires that outlets obtain prior approval from the committee before increasing the service fees provided in Article (3).
The maximum payment period for fees shall not exceed 15 days from the date of delivery of the monthly statement to the outlets, Article (5) sates, and any agreement in violation of this provision shall be null and void.
Article (6) states that the outlets shall not, by any means, force the parties they deal with to obtain service fees or alter payment periods, or impose discriminatory conditions in violation of the provisions of this decision. They shall also not refuse to deal with, or impose restrictions on, local suppliers.
The decision introduces a number of obligations on outlets. Among others, Article (7) specifies that the percentage of locally produced products displayed by outlets shall not constitute less than 50% of the goods on shelves of the same class. In addition, no fees shall be charged on the entry and registration services for companies supplying locally produced food commodities. Priority shall be given to local produce displayed, which should clearly bear the label “national product”.
Article (8) stipulates that relevant authorities shall execute and apply this decision, each within its competency, as of January 1, 2019, and the decision will be published in the Official Gazette.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry values the positive results and successes achieved in supporting local products to date, according to a statement. The percentage of Qatari food production significantly increased during the first year of the blockade, enabling Qatar to achieve a large percentage of self-sufficiency in milk and chilled poultry, which saw production lines increase significantly. At the same time, the Ministry is committed to continuing all efforts to develop the activity of local companies while achieving a healthy balance between those companies and all other outlets, including hypermarkets and supermarkets.