MEC Issues Decision on Sales at Discounted Prices

The Peninsula -- Minister of Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, has issued Decision No.311 of 2018 on Sales at Discounted Prices.

The main highlights of the ministerial decision include the classification of discounts into two categories.

The first category includes special discounts relating, for instance, to festivals and special events that take place in malls, for a day or more, and target specific loyal customers registered by shops regardless of their nomenclature.

The ministerial decision also authorizes discounts over 50 percent and stipulates that special discount days shall not be deducted from seasonal discount days.

The second type of discounts are general discounts, such as seasonal discounts, which are now permitted over a one-month period rather than 21 days. General discounts over 50 percent are also now permitted.

The Ministerial Decision No.311 of 2018 also protects consumers’ rights by respecting their religious values, customs and traditions, and restricting the announcement of discounts to one day prior to the date specified in the license.

Discount ads shall also be free from exaggerations and misleading or deceptive claims to consumers.

In a bid to protect consumers from misleading advertising, the percentage of goods and services covered by the minimum discount announced on the shop’s front and premises should not cover less than 20 percent of the total goods and services subject to discount.

In case of any violation, the Ministerial Decision stipulates that the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has the right to cancel the license, to suspend discounted sales for the remaining period and to remove all related advertising.

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