Crackdown on firms selling fake products

MUSCAT, July 14 – In view of the increasing number of cases relating to sale of expired and fake goods, the authorities are planning to intensify inspections on the market. According to a senior official in the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP), several firms have already been penalised for selling goods and products found not fit for human use. “The authority receives several complaints and its officials regularly inspect the markets all over the country. “The raids have resulted in the confiscation of a large amount of counterfeit and expired goods which are harmful for health,” he said.

The official said under the revised regulations, manufacturers and sellers could face penalties ranging from a jail term of up to two years and fines as high as RO 2,000. Last week, two business establishments were fined RO 1,500 for selling expired products in Al Dhahirah Governorate. Acting on complaints from consumers, PACP officials detected expired shampoos, perfumes and creams in their possession. “Legal proceedings were initiated against the erring shops. While one shop was fined RO 1,000, the other was slapped with an administrative fine of RO 500,” the authority said in a statement. According to the official, several goods and products are being withdrawn from the market following PACP’s intervention.

He said that fake or inferior quality items are available across a range of products, including cosmetics, body creams, shampoos, mobile phones, automobile spare parts, sunglasses, tableware, etc. “Adding to the woes of consumers is the sale of expired items. PACP officials regularly inspect the market places and book the culprits when they notice any illegal activity,” he said. Article 2 of Oman’s Consumer Protection Law prohibits producing, manufacturing, offering or distributing counterfeit goods or practising or attempting to practise deception, publicity or fraud to market such goods by means of advertisements, publications, posters, flyers or any other means.

SAMUEL KUTTY