Calling up Consumers to Buy from Trusted Stores, Registered in the E-Portal “Ma’arouf"
The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has blocked the website of a foreign store as well as its application, in addition to 5 Instagram accounts, promoting counterfeit products, bearing forged trademarks for famous brands registered with MCI. This is in coordination and cooperation with the competent authorities. This comes after doing the necessary monitoring and tracking of the websites in violation. This is to protect and preserve the rights of consumers against any fraud or counterfeiting practices, besides preserving the intellectual property rights of the registered trademarks. Upon blocking those accounts, which offer counterfeit products, over 500,000 subscribers can be protected of buying such fake items.
The fake products offered on such websites included smart phone headsets, perfumes, cosmetics, clothing, shoes, bags, gifts and others.
MCI would like to reiterate its warning to all consumers not to purchase through anonymous pages or accounts in the social networking sites. The Ministry calls up all the consumers to buy through the electronic stores, accounts and pages that have a Commercial Registration, or registered with the e-portal "Ma’arouf", or through the international well-known sites. This is for preserving and guarantee the rights of all consumers.
Notably, MCI has enabled all the electronic store owners and marketers in the social networking sites to register through “Ma'arouf” free service, where the data of all those registered in this service is available to the Ministry. This would enhance the reliability and credibility of the products and businesses offered through the websites. “Ma’arouf” service provides as well the assessment and the quality of the e-stores in the Kingdom, and the opinions of the dealers. This would be of great benefit to the customers.
MCI warns against offering or marketing counterfeit or fake products through the websites or the social media, since this is a violation of the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and Trademark Regulations, leading to penalties of up to three years' imprisonment, fines of up to one million riyals, deporting the illegal labors from the Kingdom, besides the suspension and prevention of practicing the commercial activity.
MCI will not hesitate to take stern measures and to impose the legal penalties against the distributors of counterfeit and fake products through the social media or websites, and calls on all consumers to cooperate and lodge their complaints through MCI Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report or via the Ministry's website.