Consumers warned not to buy counterfeit goods

Updated 21 September 2013

Consumers warned not to buy counterfeit goods

A prominent Jeddah businessman has expressed concern over the huge volumes of counterfeit electrical and electronic appliances flooding the Saudi market through Dubai.
“Commercial fraud not only adversely affects the national economy, but also has an impact on businesses and consumers alike,” said Muhammad Ba Ja'afar on the sidelines of the opening session organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jeddah yesterday.
Present at the session were Muhiddeen Hikami, assistant secretary general of Jeddah Chamber, and Abdullah As Sufyani, director of the anti-commercial fraud department in Jeddah, along with representatives from the electrical, electronic appliance and food industry. Ba Ja’afar said his business was adversely affected as a result of the 10 to 20 percent rate of counterfeit goods entering the Kingdom “through illegal means.” “Last year, we lost more than SR 20 million.
“I urge consumers to be more careful when they buy consumer electronics or electrical appliances. They should make sure that they have the original brand,” he said.
Hikami said that many businesses incur large losses as a result of counterfeit goods in the market. “Their annual losses amount to more than SR 4 billion.
We have recent statistics that show that a bout 80 percent of stores in local markets sell counterfeit goods and that 20 percent of consumers have counterfeit goods in their homes.
The quantity of counterfeit medicine in the local market currently stands at about 25 percent,” he said.
“This is harmful to consumers and society at large, especially when the goods are food and drink items. We, at the Jeddah Chamber, continue to educate the public about commercial fraud.
It is a serious matter,” he added.

US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 min 32 sec ago

US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

  • There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia, the administration told Arab News

RIYADH: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied that it banned the import of dates from Saudi Arabia, following media reports that it had done so earlier this week.

“There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia,” the administration told Arab News. The Saudi National Center for Palms & Dates (NCPD) also denied the reports.

The NCPD pointed out that reports published mentioned the finding of pesticide residues in date samples from a Saudi company dating back to 2009.

In a statement on Sunday, the NCPD said that the US FDA published on its website a list of all the companies “classified by country” which did not meet US standards.

It added that the FDA required companies to update their information with it as and when that changed.

Bashar Al-Quraya, deputy chairman of the Dates Committee of Al-Qassim Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News that the information did not come from reliable sources. “We did not see any real official statements,” he said.

The center stressed that they work with the relevant authorities to raise the level of date safety in general for products sold in local or export markets.

“Saudi Arabia is considered number one in date quality,” Al-Quraya said, adding that when they export dates to Germany and the UK, the entry procedures go very smoothly. “There are no problems and the procedures are very simple and clear.”

Al-Quraya also pointed out that for the last two months of growth before harvesting the crop, no pesticides are sprayed on Saudi dates, and the exported fruits are subjected to tests before shipping.

“The rumors did not affect the market. I am now at the food fair in Dubai, there is a great demand for Saudi dates from European countries,” he said.

“If there was a problem with our dates the news should come from the UK or Germany, as the number of dates we export (there) are much bigger than what we export to the US,” he added.