• Falsifying the country of origin and selling Australian meat as meat of Arab origin to deceive consumers and increase the selling price.
• Selling local leafy vegetables as imported produce.
• Extending the shelf life of products in violation of standard specifications.
Within a well-planned qualitative operation, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry penalized one of the major commercial companies specialized in importing and distributing vegetables and fruits and selling meat, as well as cracking down on a number of its subsidiaries in different regions across Qatar, for having tampered with the country of origin for vegetables, fruits and meat, for selling rotten fruits unfit for human consumption and for trading expired products.
This step forms part of the Ministry’s consumer protection efforts, comprised of monitoring markets and commercial activities across Qatar, controlling prices, as well as detecting abuses and exposing commodities that are falsified, counterfeit or non-conforming to standard specifications.
The relevant authorities at the Ministry had received information that one of the major commercial companies in Qatar had falsified the country of origin of vegetables, fruits and meat. The Ministry hence worked in coordination with the Public Prosecution, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Municipality to monitor the company’s branches, and to conduct a surprise inspection campaign on these branches. The investigation resulted in the seizure and release of several violations, including selling vegetables and fruits whose country of origin had been changed to increase the prices that the consumer pays, and marketing Australian meat as meat of Arab source by changing the country of origin, as well as selling expired products.
Moreover, quantities of spoiled fruits unfit for human consumption were also seized, knowing that a decision had previously been issued by the relevant authority to destroy this produce.
However, the company in question repackaged these quantities and sold them as being fit for consumption. These practices come in violation of the provisions of Article No. (6) of Law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection, which states: “No defective or adulterated commodity shall be sold, displayed, presented, promoted or advertised. The commodity shall be deemed to be adulterated or defective where it does not conform to the prescribed standard specifications, is unfit for use or has expired.”
They also violate Article No. (7) of the same law, stipulating: “Where a supplier displays any commodity for trading, he shall clearly indicate on the packaging or container the type, nature, ingredients and other information relating to the commodity in the manner specified in the executive bylaw hereof. Where the use of the commodity involves a certain risk, the consumer shall be clearly warned against such risk. The supplier shall be prohibited from describing, advertising or displaying the commodity in a manner that involves false or deceptive information.”
Violating Law No. (8) of 2008 on Consumer Protection exposes perpetrators to penalties ranging from administrative closure to financial fines between QAR 3,000 and QAR 1,000,000.
In this regard, the Ministry assured that it was in the process of completing the remaining legal procedures against the violating company. Moreover, the Ministry stressed that it would not tolerate any negligence in terms of meeting obligations stipulated in Law No. (8) of 2008 on Consumer Protection, and its executive bylaws, and that it would intensify its inspection campaigns to curb violations.
Any party that violates laws and Ministerial decisions will be referred to the relevant authorities, who would respond appropriately to protect consumer rights.
The Ministry also urges all citizens and residents to report any violations or infractions through the following official channels:
– Call Center: 16001
– The Ministry of Commerce & Industry’s authorized social media accounts:
– Twitter @MOCIQATAR
– Instagram MOCIQATAR