Ministry of Commerce blocks six websites for selling fake goods
Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) has blocked six portals on "Instagram", for marketing counterfeit and forged goods, bearing trademarks registered with the Ministry.
The counterfeit products offered through Instagram included perfumes and cosmetics, in addition to clothing, shoes, watches, bags, gifts and others.
MCI said that the action has being taken within the framework of the Ministry's efforts to monitor and track the online sites and accounts in violation to protect the consumers' rights against fraudulent and counterfeiting practices, as well as to preserve the intellectual property rights of the registered trademarks. "By blocking such sites, thousands of customers are protected from buying counterfeit and fake products", MCI added.
Last week, MCI announced blocking a foreign website and its application, in addition to five "Instagram" accounts promoting counterfeit and forged products, bearing registered trademarks and warned all consumers against buying from unknown websites or accounts in the social networking sites.
MCI called on all consumers to buy through the electronic stores, accounts and pages that have a company registration or being registered with the Ministry and have "Ma’arouf" Service Certificate, or through well-known global sites to guarantee and preserve the buyers' rights. MCI also calls on all online store owners and the marketers in the social networking sites to register their activities in "Ma’arouf" free service, where all the data of those registered in this service are available with the Ministry. It would enhance the reliability and credibility of their products and activities. “Ma’arouf” service provides the assessment of the online stores in Saudi Arabia, the opinions of dealers with such stores and the quality of their work. This would give easy access to every consumer.
MCI warns against selling or marketing counterfeit or fake goods online or via the social networking sites. This is considered a violation to the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and Trademark Regulations, which may lead to penalties of three-year imprisonment, fines amounting to SR 1 million, deporting the illegal laborers, suspension and prevention of practicing the commercial activity.
MCI affirmed its on-going efforts by taking stern measures and imposing the legal penalties against those promoting or distributing counterfeit and fraudulent goods online or through the social networking sites. MCI also called on all consumers to cooperate and lodge their complaints and observations through MCI Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or via the Ministry's website.