Ministerial decision sets new standards for fruit and vegetable sales in Kuwait

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Consumer awareness boosted: Kuwait mandates clear labeling for vegetable and fruit products.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16: In a significant move aimed at enhancing the quality and transparency of the vegetable and fruit market, the Minister of Trade and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Muhammad Al-Aiban, has issued Ministerial Decision No. 7 of 2024. The decision, set to take effect from February 1, introduces stringent measures governing the sale of vegetables and fruits in various markets across Kuwait.

Among the key provisions of the decision is a prohibition on the splitting of large packages and boxes into smaller ones in the vegetable market, including prominent locations such as Al-Fardha, Sulaibiya, Al-Ardiya, Al-Andalus, cooperative societies, stores, and warehouses. This restriction extends to any other markets subject to renewal by a decision from the Undersecretary of the Ministry.

In addition to the ban on dividing packages and boxes, the decision addresses the practice of auctions for small packages and boxes, prohibiting such activities within designated areas, markets, and stalls. The decision aims to maintain the integrity of sales and prevent unregulated practices within Kuwait’s fruit and vegetable markets.

Furthermore, the ministerial decision imposes strict regulations on the display and sale of incomplete, damaged, or spoiled produce. It also prohibits auctions for such products. To enhance consumer awareness, the decision mandates that all vegetable and fruit products sold in Kuwaiti markets prominently display clear information on their packaging. This includes the weight of content, the country of origin, and the name of the supplying or providing company.

A critical aspect of the decision is the call for owners of stalls, central markets, and stores engaged in selling vegetables and fruits to use scales when conducting retail transactions with consumers. The decision explicitly forbids any tampering or use of methods that distort weight during such transactions.

Additionally, merchants and sellers of vegetables and fruits are prohibited from artificially inflating prices through deceptive means, such as storing, concealing quantities, or spreading false information. The decision underscores the commitment to fair pricing based on the reality of supply and demand.

For retail sales by kilo, the decision mandates that the retail price should not exceed the original price when the package or complete box was divided. Buyers are not to be compelled to purchase specific quantities.

To ensure compliance and transparency, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will prepare a fixed form detailing product names, weights, prices, packaging types, auction ending prices, and consumer selling prices for cooperative societies. This information will be presented daily to consumers, emphasizing the government’s dedication to consumer rights and market integrity.

While the decision allows the sale of imported vegetables and fruits in their original condition, it emphasizes that no changes should occur in the imported state, ensuring the products remain free from spoilage, adulteration, or damage. The decision concludes by stressing the application of legal measures against any violations, with provisions opposing it subject to repeal.

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