New Saudi consumer protection law: Supervision and inspection

New Saudi consumer protection law: Supervision and inspection

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The new law for consumer protection in Saudi Arabia is the talk of the media these days. In previous articles, we touched on its main clauses. However, we must shed light on the inspection and supervision clauses.

The government authority responsible for applying this law will supervise the market to verify the full compliance of the economic operators with the provisions of the law and regulations, and will also issue the necessary rules, controls and procedures to protect the consumer.

Moreover, It will also build the appropriate systems for databases, collection and exchange of information to monitor and supervise all related practices, complaints, behaviors, market monitoring procedures, corrective measures and penalties imposed in the field of consumer protection.

Since supervision is one of the most important elements in implementing this law, which is mainly concerned with the protection of the consumer, it is important to go through the powers that the law will grant to inspectors. These include conducting supervisory visits, as well as entering and inspecting shops, worksites, offices, branches, warehouses, storage places and vehicles used by the economic operator.

Others powers include obtaining, examining, seizing, collecting, reviewing and retaining documents, information, data and records related to any violation detected.

Inspectors are also entitled to communicate with the legal representative of the economic operator or any other person who works for this representative, as well as anyone who has information that may be useful in detecting the violation. Inspectors must also invite this representative to come to the headquarters of the competent authority or the place of the economic operator, storage, or even the distribution and delivery centers.

Of course, to verify compliance with the provisions of the law and its implementing regulations, inspectors have the right to take samples to carry out the necessary tests and examinations, or even obtain the necessary evidence.

Certainly, inspectors have the right to purchase products or services without declaring their identity or functional capacity for inspection purposes in the event that evidence cannot be obtained by other means.

However, the inspector must provide evidence of his capacity when exercising his powers in cases where the inspection was announced. They must also abide by the principles of confidentiality, maintaining professional and commercial secrets, and protecting personal data of the economic operators and their employees or others.

Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif

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