The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has issued a circular regarding refraining from trading goods bearing logos and symbols that are non-compliant with Islamic values, customs, and traditions.
Any party that violates laws and Ministerial decisions will be referred to the relevant authorities, who will take appropriate measures, which are: A fine up to QR1mn, administrative closure for a period of three months, cancellation of the commercial license, and banning the violator from practicing any commercial activity.
The action comes in the light of the MoCI recently noticing that some shops and major shopping malls have been displaying, selling and promoting products bearing logos, colours, and designs that violate common decency.
The circular comes within the framework of the MoCI’s efforts to control markets and ensure that suppliers, traders, and shopkeepers in Qatar abide by their obligations in the field of protecting consumer rights, preserving Islamic values and respecting the customs, traditions, and cultural heritage of the country, as stipulated by Law No. (8) of 2008 on Consumer Protection, in which Article (2) states: “The basic rights of a consumer shall be guaranteed under the provisions of this Law. No person may conclude any agreement or conduct any activity that prejudices such rights, in particular, the following: […] The right of respect of religious values, customs and traditions.”
Article (16) of the same law also states that the supplier shall be liable for any damage resulting from the usage and consumption of the commodity.
The MoCI emphasised that practicing commercial activities and trading goods and services must maintain respect for the values of the Islamic religion, and with adherence to the customs and traditions of Qatari society.
The ministry called upon merchants and those in charge of shops and shopping malls to take this into account when devising their commercial policies, to abide by the circulars issued by the Ministry, and to ensure that products provided to the consumer are of high quality.
As per the circular, all merchants and major shopping malls operating in Qatar must abide by the following:
1. Coordinating with import sources before supplying any products for the purpose of trading in the Qatari market and ensuring that the products neither promote nor carry logos, designs, symbols or expressions that do not comply with the teachings of the Islamic religion, or violate common decency, customs, and traditions.
2. Committing to refraining from displaying any goods in shop fronts that would violate common decency, as well as the nation’s traditions and customs; refraining from using inappropriate gifts and packaging materials or marketing and promoting products bearing slogans, symbols, or phrases with immoral connotations that violate the religious and cultural values of the community.
3. Refraining from publishing any images, audio clips, visual or other materials with immoral or indecent content.
The MoCI stressed it is working in co-ordination with the authorities concerned to take the necessary measures to prevent the trade of products that violate basic consumer rights.
The MoCI also assured it will not tolerate any negligence in terms of meeting obligations stipulated by Law No. (8) of 2008 on Consumer Protection, and its implementing regulations, and that it will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations.
The MoCI also called upon all consumers to report any goods bearing logos or designs that violate customs and traditions, and to specify their locations so that the Ministry's inspectors can take the necessary measures, through the following communication channels: Call Center: 16001, Twitter @MOCIQATAR, Instagram MOCIQATAR.