Consumer rights in Qatar are protected by law. The Consumer Protection Law provides protection covering all products and services whether charged for or given to the consumer free of charge.
Under the law, a consumer is defined as any person or legal entity who:
The scope of protection covers products and services that are free of charge.
The law also places an obligation on suppliers to play fair, provide certain information about their products and services, and to reimburse and/or compensate the consumer for poor service or faulty goods. A supplier is defined as any person who provides and distributes, trades in, sells, exports, imports or is involved in the production or circulation of the goods and services.
The law sets out a basic bill of rights for consumers, some of which are:
As a consumer you are entitled to claim compensation for any damage to property caused as a result of buying or using a product or service.
Accordingly, the supplier is obligated to refund the value of the product or replace or repair it without charge if:
The Consumer Protection Law prohibits the selling, displaying, offering, promotion and advertisement of any spoilt or out-of-sell-by-date products i.e. they have exceeded their validity date or do not conform to prescribed specifications.
Suppliers are also prohibited from describing, advertising or displaying products using false or misleading information.
Suppliers are obligated to display the following information clearly and legibly on all labels:
The law also provides protection for consumers who pay for goods or services by instalment. In these cases, the supplier must provide the following information:
Suppliers who breach any of the provisions of the law may face "detention for a term not exceeding two years and fine".
The fine has recently been increased in an amendment Law (14) of 2014 from one of between 5,000 and 10,000 Riyals to one of between 3,000 and 1 million Riyals. This penalty doubles if the supplier repeats the offence within five years of the original infringement. Furthermore, if the supplier fails to advise of a dangerous commodity the fine has been amended to one of between 15,000 and 100,000 Riyals to one of between 15,000 and 1 million Riyals. However, suppliers who unintentionally advertise incorrect information are excluded from this penalty if it is determined that the information provided was too technical to verify.
Law No (14) of (2011) further adds that violating shops can be closed by up to three months where repeat violations occur.
The Law permits citizens to set up consumer rights societies and groups that help provide consumers with information, defend consumers’ interests, convey concerns and complaints to relevant authorities, and research and publish studies related to consumer protection.
Watch the translated Consumer Protection Law video in sign language on Ministry of Commerce and Industry YouTube channel.