SR50 bn lost to Trade fraud annually


“The losses being suffered by Saudi companies as a result of trade fraud is incredible and this necessitates imposition of tougher penalties to prevent such harmful practices,” Al-Eyadi told Arab News.



A new law has proposed a one-year jail sentnece and fines of up to SR1 million for those involved in trade fraud.



Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has said that the government will deal firmly with anyone who tries to harm the economy. “Trade fraud is one of the biggest enemies of national economy,” Al-Eyadi said and called for enacting and enforcing the new law as quickly as possible. “Trade fraud is the crime of the 21st Century. Other countries impose tougher punishment including beheading on those involved in this type of crime,” he said.



Al-Eyadi blamed the inaction of three agencies — the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Customs Department and the Saudi Arabia Standards Organization (SASO) for growing trade fraud in the country.



If the three organizations play their roles effectively, the problem can be solved, he said. The Customs Department must stop low-quality and imitation products from entering the country, the Standards Organization must give reports on various imported products quickly before giving them clearance and the ministry must take steps to prevent the manufacturing of faked-brand goods inside the Kingdom, said the JCCI official.



“At present we spend billions of dollars in importing low-quality and expired goods,” said Al-Eyadi, who is CEO of Trade Mark Service Company.



He said the three agencies should act quickly and efficiently to prevent trade fraud. “Presently the customs has to wait sometimes up to two months to get a response from the SASO on an imported product. Because of this delay, the trader tries to get clearance of the product by giving an undertaking,” he pointed out.



“We are now in a different situation. We are a member of the World Trade Organization and it is the duty of the ministry to respond quickly to our committee’s recommendations to solve this problem,” Al-Eyadi said.


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