Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development's Abu Dhabi Business Center (ADBC) has launched 247 inspection raids to stores and commercial establishments in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region in the first quarter of 2016, where 200,428 counterfeit products were confiscated including auto spare parts, electronic devices, clothes, accessories, beauty products and other items.
The Q1, 2016 Report, issued by the ADDED's Commercial Protection Division, said that the raid resulted in issuing 1555 fines against the stores and establishments that violated the laws and regulations of practicing business activity in some sectors across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Seven stores were closed for non-compliance with the emirate's business practice laws and regulations.
According to the report, 33,164 field visits were conducted to Abu Dhabi's stores and establishments in Q1 of 2016. In the same period, the Commercial Protection Division received 945 complaints from consumers and trade mark owners about wrong or illegal practices by some businesses, street vendors and others.
Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, ADDED Acting Undersecretary, stressed the ADDED commitment to trace and eliminate all negative practices that would affect the performance of the business environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, commending the role of ADDED's strategic partners across government, semi-government and private sectors in helping ADDED achieve its strategic goals of establishing a competitive business environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"Some negative trends seen in the emirate are the results of wrong practices from some individuals and business owners who are unaware of the laws and regulations organising business activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi," said Al Mansouri.
The Acting Undersecretary noted that during the month of Ramadan, the ADDED conducts inspection visits to vegetable and fruit markets, livestock markets and other outlets across the three regions of the emirate in coordination with the Ministry of Economy. The ADDED also distributes pamphlets to raise consumer awareness in this holy month as part of its annual plans that aims to combat commercial fraud and prevent monopoly of commodities usually wanted during Ramadan.
He called on the public in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to reject such practices by immediately reporting any violations to competent bodies, especially ADDED as it is responsible for the regulation of commercial activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in coordination with other stakeholders.
Al Mansouri stressed that in line with its endeavours to promote its role in the field of commercial protection in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, ADDED has started since last year to initiate procedures to enforce the laws of competition and intellectual property protection, to develop electronic platforms to receive consumer complaints, to launch awareness campaigns to ensure consumer rights and protection and to enforce governance mechanisms along with strategic partners in the field of consumer protection.
"The ADDED is now implementing a number of strategic commercial protection projects in cooperation with relevant government partners in the emirate, including the establishment of a consumer protection centre, market monitoring, restructuring the retail sector like supermarkets, geographic coding, mobile truck vending, eliminating nominal or mock trade licenses and the provision of the services of the Commercial Protection Division through smart mobile applications.
Issued by the ADDED's Commercial Protection Division, the quarterly report said that the inspection raids launched in January to trace commercial fraud and combat negative practices were 58 visits across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. They resulted in confiscating 2126 electronic devices, clothe items and accessories in addition to 234 sheep from street vendors.
In February, anti-commercial fraud raids amounted to 88 visits across the three regions of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, resulting in the seizure of 162,816 items, including counterfeit car spare parts, electronic devices, clothes, accessories, beauty products. 27.5 tons of vegetables and fruits and 3 tons of clothes and household items were also confiscated from street vendors.
The report went on to say that during March of this year, the ADDED's Commercial Protection Division conducted 101 inspection visits related to commercial fraud and other negative practices across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. Confiscated products in March amounted to 35,486 items including car spare parts, electronic devices, clothes, accessories, beauty products as well as 10,220 Kg of vegetables and fruits.
Region-wise, the report noted that the city of Abu Dhabi has seen 19,657 field inspection visits to stores and commercial establishments during the first quarter of 2016. During these visits, 761 fines were issued. The Commercial Protection Division received 490 complaints from customers and trade name owners in the city.
In Al Ain, 8,963 field inspection visits were made to stores and commercial establishments during the same period, in which 707 fines were issued. The Commercial Protection Division received 441 complaints from customers and trade name owners in the Al Ain.
As for the Western Region, the report said that 4,544 field inspection visits were conducted in the first quarter, where 87 fines were issued against violators. The Commercial Protection Division received only 19 complaints from customers and trade name owners in the Western Region.