LAW NO. (8) OF 2008 CONSUMER’S PROTECTION
We Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar, Upon a review of the Constitution and Law No 2 for the year 1999 regarding the fight against fraudulent business practices, And upon review of decree-law No 32 for the year 2004 regarding the organization of the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the description of its competences. And Decree No 36 for the year 2004 regarding the Supreme Council for Communication and Information Technology, And upon proposal of the Minister of Economy and Trade and the law project submitted by the Council of Ministers, And having consulted the Advisory Council, Have decided the following law:
CHAPTER 1 – DEFINITIONS
In the implementation of the provisions of the present Law, the following words and expressions shall bear the meanings given to each one of them unless otherwise implied in the context.
The Ministry: The Ministry of Economy and Trade
The Minister: The Ministry of Economy and Trade
The Competent Department: The Competent Departmental Unit in the Ministry
The Consumer: Any Person who uses Commodities or services for or without any consideration in return to fulfill his personal needs or others’, or with whom a transaction or conclusion of an agreement for the said purpose is made.
The Supplier: Any Person who provides a service or manufactures a Commodity or distributes it or trades in it or exports it or imports it or circulates it, and this with the purpose of offering it to the consumer or conclude an agreement or deal in it in any way.
The Advertiser: Any Person who, by any means of advertising or promotion, advertises or promotes the Commodities or services personally or throughout another Person.
The Commodity: Any industrial, agricultural, animal or transformable product, including the product’s raw material and introduced ingredients.
The Service: Any work done by one person or group that benefits the Consumer whether with or without anything in return.
The Price: The price of sale or rental or use.
The Defect:Any fault that leads to the diminution of the value of any of the Commodities or services or the benefit for which it is intended and, totally or partially, prevents the Consumer from benefiting from intended purpose, including faults resulting from handing the wrong transporting or storage of the Commodity, unless such faults are attributable to the Consumer.
CHAPTER 2 – CONSUMER’S RIGHTS
The basic rights of Consumer are guaranteed in the provisions of the present Law. No person may conclude any deal or carry any activity that infringes the basic rights of the Consumer, and in particular:
- The rights of health and safety during the normal use of the products and services.
- The rights to obtain the correct data and information about the products that he purchases, or uses or that are presented to him.
- The right of free choice of products that are of good quality and in conformity with their specifications.
- The right to respect the religious values as well as customs and traditions.
- The right to obtain knowledge related to the protection of the Consumer’s legal rights and interests.
- The right to join associations and private institutions, counsels and committees whose purpose is related to theconsumer protection.
- The right to bring legal actions concerning all attempts against the consumer’s rights, or that restricts them. All without prejudice to the international treaties and agreements applicable in Qatar.
The Consumer has the right to just compensation for the damages he sustains as a result of purchasing or using the Commodities and receiving the Services, any agreement stipulating otherwise is deemed null and void.
In compliance with the provisions of Law No 12 for the year 2004 regarding associations and private institutions, the present Law provides for the establishment of associations for the protection of the consumer aiming at the following:
- Inform the Consumer, arousing his awareness and educate him.
- Participate in the rationalization of the Consumer and family expenditures.
- Express the Consumer’s point of view before the official competent authorities and notify them of any unfairpractices that are detrimental to the Consumer’s interests and request their intervention to put an end to suchpractices when needed.
- Contribute to the creation of relations based on trust and cooperation between the Consumer and the Supplierand participate in the dialogue and consultation with the relevant parties.
- Defend the Consumer’s interests.
- Prepare studies and researches related to the Consumer protection and publish them.
CHAPTER 3 – SUPPLIER’S OBLIGATIONS
The Supplier undertakes to take the Commodity back against a refund or exchange it or repair the defect without any additional cost if it was defective or didn’t conform to the specifications or purpose agreed upon.
The Supplier is prohibited from selling, exhibiting, offering, promoting or advertising any Commodity that is defective or corrupt. The Commodity is deemed defective or corrupt when it does not conform to the specification or purpose agreed upon or if it is not valid for use or has expired.
The Supplier undertakes, upon exhibiting any Commodity, to place a label on it indicating, in a legible and clear form, the nature of the Commodity and the ingredients thereof, and this under the Executive Regulations of the present Law. If the use of the Commodity involves a certain risk, the Consumer must be warned against such risk in a clear way. The Supplier shall be prohibited from describing the Commodity or promoting it or exhibiting it in a form that would create incorrect or misleading impression to the Consumer or lead to the Consumer falling into confusion or mistake.
The Supplier undertakes, upon circulating any Commodity to label it with the price in a clear way or visibly display the price at the place where the Commodity is exhibited. The Consumer is entitled to get an invoice concerning the transaction related to the product, including the date of the transaction, the price, type, quantity or any other data of the product stipulated in the Executive Regulation of the present Law.
By decision of the relevant administration, it is possible to draw a list of commodities, the price declaration of which would be sufficient for the Supplier to give the Consumer the possibility to know their prices in a definite and clear way.
In compliance with the provisions of Law No (8) for the year 2002 regarding the organization of the works of trade agents, all trade agents or distributors are bound to execute all the guarantees offered by the manufacturer or the representative of the Commodity subject matter of the agency.
Should the execution of the guarantees stipulated in the previous paragraph take more than fifteen days, the trade agent or the distributor shall replace the product and allow the Consumer to use it at no additional cost until such guaranteed are executed.
In compliance with the provisions of Law No (19) for the year 2006 regarding the protection of competition and prohibition of monopolistic practices, the Supplier can in no way hide any Commodity or refrain from selling with the purpose of controlling the market price or imposing the purchase of certain quantities thereof or the purchase of another Commodity with it or selling it at a higher price than the one given in the first place.
The Supplier shall indicate in a clear manner the data concerning the service being offered, including its price, specifications and characteristics. The Supplier is also bound to guarantee that the service provided during a period of time is in conformity with the nature of such service and undertakes to pay a refund the service or provide it again to the consumer in a right way.
The Supplier is bound to include in his contracts and agreements his obligation to repair the defect or his obligation of maintenance or after sale service and to accept the returning of the product within a set period of time after the appearance of the defect in it.
The Supplier shall guarantee the conformity of the Commodity or the Service provided to the Consumer to the specifications and characteristics agreed upon. In addition, he shall be held liable for the non-respect of the conditions pertaining to public health and safety.
Upon discovery of a defect in the Commodity or the Service likely to harm the Consumer upon using the Commodity or benefiting from the service, the Supplier is bound to immediately inform the relevant department within the Ministry as well as the Consumers of the potential prejudice that it may cause and the way to avoid such prejudice. He shall, then, proceed to the immediate withdrawal of the defective commodities from the market and announce such withdrawal according to what is stipulated in the Executive Regulation of the present Law.
Where the product is sold or the service provided in installments, prior to the conclusion of any agreement, the Supplier shall provide the following data to the Consumer:
- The price of the Commodity or the Service provision if paid totally in cash.
- The price of the Commodity or the Service provision if paid by installments.
- The potential term of the installment.
- The number and value of each installment for each term.
- The entire cost of sale by installment.
- The sum to be paid in advance if applicable.
The Supplier shall be held liable for the prejudice resulting from the use and consumption of the Commodity as well as for the non-availability of spare parts for long-term products and for the absence of guarantees declared or agreed upon with the Consumer, all under the Executive Regulation of the present Law. If the Commodity is produced locally, the Supplier and the manufacturer shall be held jointly liable with respect to the previous paragraph.
All data and labels provided for in Articles (7), (8), (11) of the present Chapter should be made in the Arabic language. The use of other languages next to the Arabic language is allowed.
CHAPTER 4 – SANCTIONS
Without prejudice to any more severe sanctions provided for under any other law, the person who violates the any of the provisions stipulated in the Articles of Chapter Three of the present law shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and fined a sum not less than five thousand to not more than fifty thousand Riyal or sanctioned with one of the aforesaid sanctions. The notifying party shall be exempted from the liability if the information included in the notification and provided by the Supplier is technical and impossible to sustain. The value of the fine shall be doubled if the violation is repeated. The accused is deemed recidivist he commits a similar offense during the five-year period as of the date of termination of the execution of the sentence rendered or the lapsing of the sentence. All the offenses provided for in the present Law are deemed identical with respect to the repetition thereof. In that case, the fine shall be not less than fifty thousand Riyals and not more than a hundred thousand Riyals, if the Supplier was not cautious as to the danger involved in the use of the Commodity or the Service in a clear way, the thing that led to damages.
Without prejudice to any more severe sanctions provided for under any other law, the person who, in any way whatsoever, disposes of the withheld products stipulated in Article (25) of the present Law, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two months, or fined a sum equivalent to the value of the withheld commodities and which he has disposed of illegally.
The person in charge of actual management of the violating legal entity shall be subject to the same penalty provided for in the two previous Articles if established that this person has been aware of the violation and the breach of duties required by management has contributed in the occurrence of the criminal offence. The legal entity shall be jointly liable to pay the financial penalties and the compensation if the violation has been committed by one of its workers in the name or for the interest of such legal entity.
In the case of conviction in any of the crimes stipulated above in the present Law, shall, in addition to the sentence rendered, order the seizure or the waste of the commodity subject matter of the violation as well as the material and tools used for its production, or the closure of the store or the place where the crime took place for a period not less than one month. The court shall order the publication of the convicting judgment in two daily newspapers and the cost of such publication shall be charged to the person who has been convicted.
In no way can the penal lawsuit be lifted and no measure can be taken as to the crimes stipulated in the present Law unless by a written authorization given by the Minister or by the one he delegates. The Minister or the person he delegates shall be entitled to settle in any of the crimes stipulated in the present Law, prior to the institution of the lawsuit or during said lawsuit or before the rendering of a final and conclusive judgment in the criminal action, against the payment of a sum that is not less than double the minimum amount of the penalty and not exceeding the double of the maximum amount of said penalty. The settlement shall extinct the legal action.
CHAPTER 5 – GENERAL PROVISIONS
The provisions of the present Law do not contravene the competences of the Supreme Council for Communication and Information Technology regarding the consumer protection in the communication and information technology.
Any condition appearing in a contract, instrument or document or other similar item concerning the agreement concluded with the consumer shall be null and void if it relieves the Supplier of any obligation under this Law.
In the event there are strong reasons leading to believe that there is breach of the prohibition stipulated in Article (6) of the present Law, it is possible to get hold of the doubtful materials, and keep it temporarily with the concerned and under his own responsibility. Five samples at least shall be taken for analysis, and each sample put in safe containers, two of which are given to the concerned. A report about all the taken measures shall be drawn. Without prejudice to the right of the concerned to submit a request of release the seized goods to the competent court, such goods such be released by law if no law order is sentence to keep the commodities held for thirty-day period after the day of seizure.
The Executive Regulation of the present Law determines the necessary categories and terms to settle the situations in such a way as to meet the provisions of the present Law. In case the situation is not settled after the expiration of the set term, the Minister can prohibit the establishment from carrying out its activities for a period of time not exceeding ten days and refer the matter to the court to close the establishment and dispose of the commodities subject matter of the violation.
The employees working at the Ministry, who are designated by virtue of a decree issued by the attorney general in agreement with the Minister, shall have the capacity of a judicial inspector in the process of detecting, and proving the violations in breach of the provisions of the present Law.
The Minister issues the Executive Regulation of the present Law and the necessary decisions to execute it, and until such decisions are issued the current decisions and regulations remain in force in a way not that meets the provisions of the present Law.
The abovementioned Law No (2) for the year 1999 is annulled.
All the relevant parties, each in its field of competence, are to execute the present Law that will be published in the Official
Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar
Promulgated in the Emiri Diwan on: 10/5/1429 H Correspondent to: 15/5/2008 G