H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry has issued a Ministerial Decree amending the Regulation of the Commercial Agencies and giving orders to provide maintenance and spare parts and to guarantee the quality of manufacturing, in order to organize the relationship between the agents and distributors with the consumers in the Kingdom, in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Agencies, taking into account the rights of all parties, taking as well into consideration the development of the trading transaction in the sales and after sales services, and the desire to improve the standard and quality of services provided by the agents and distributors, in all stages of business, to the consumer. The provisions will be valid after 60 days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette.
MCI has taken into account, during the preparation of these provisions, the best legislation and international practices, so as to handle the complaints received by the Ministry or monitored through the inspection rounds, also it has taken into account the views and opinions of all the consumers, the professionals and the executives in the relevant sectors, in addition to a number of manufacturers, after putting the provisions draft earlier this year to survey the views of the public.
The provisions contained 27 articles stating the agent and distributor obligations towards the consumer in the Kingdom, concerning spare parts, providing maintenance, guarantee the quality of manufacturing and the conditions established by the producers in the sales and aftersales services.
The most General Features of these Provisions Include:
Item Delivery and Disclosure:
According to the new provisions, the agents and the distributors should determine a specific date for the delivery of the sold items and disclosure in writing clearly for any defect or change in the Item, including the repair works that had been done on the item prior to delivery. If the Item is installed, the agent or distributor should disclose clearly about the additional installed parts (accessories) made by other than the manufacturer and place of manufacturing and installation, all that to be included during the sale in a separate document signed by the consumer.
The provisions stipulate showing the items prices, spare parts, the periodic maintenance costs in the sales outlets and service centers on the relevant websites, in addition to the statement of the supposed life of the product with the commitment of providing spare parts, the necessary maintenance services and guarantee the quality of manufacturing.
The provisions also necessitate on the agent or distributor to develop policies to deal with the consumer, ensuring the compliance with the provisions of the commercial agencies system and these provisions and the policies of the producers.
The Right of a Consumer in Alternative Item:
The provisions have given the consumer the right to get an alternative item, or an amount equal to (1 ÷ 400) of the value of the item at the time of purchasing, if the consumer can`t benefit from the purchased item, and if the agent or distributor has failed in providing spare parts or there are defects in the product or the delay in the start or finish of the maintenance work over the agreed periods.
Providing Spare Parts:
The consumer waiting time for the rare spare parts has been reduced from 30 to 14 days, with the continuation of requiring agents and distributors to provide spare parts of constant demand on a permanent basis, with an emphasis on the right of the consumer to acquire spare parts from other than the agent or distributor, provided that they should be in compliance with the approved Standard Specifications in the Kingdom.
The provisions have obliged the agent or the distributor to state, in advance, to the consumer the finished period of the routine and periodic maintenance and to be committed to that date, in addition to the description of the maintenance works upon completion in writing, and showing the given guarantee and duration.
The provisions have given the right to the consumer, during the warranty period, to do the maintenance of his item in maintenance centers independent or away from the agent and the distributor, provided that the item to be subject to the required maintenance in accordance with the recommendations of the producer.
The provisions have stated the minimum period for the item warranty to be for two years, to be extended when the agent or distributor do not deal with the defect of the Item professionally.
The provisions have awarded the consumer the right to get an alternative item or the value of the item in the event of a repeated defect or during the presence of more than one defect in the Item, likely to affect the total use of such Item, or to influence the value or the safety of using, after the agent or distributor have done all the attempts to repair the item as identified by the provisions.
It is worth mentioning that the Commercial Agencies System had been issued in 1382 AH, and it was amended in 1400 AH to stipulate the obligations of the agents and distributors towards the consumer, and its Regulations had been issued in 1401 AH, and it had not been under any modification for more than 34 years until the issuance of this Ministerial Decree.