Stiff penalties for selling firecrackers in Ramadan

Stiff penalties for selling firecrackers in Ramadan

The move came as recent statistics of different regulatory authorities referred to the danger of handling such substances as they pose a serious threat to the health and safety of public.

By Salah Al Deberky - Reporter

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:47 PM

With Ramadan around the corner, the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, has warned traders and consumers against dealing in firecrackers or games that involve the use of gunpowder.

The move came as recent statistics of different regulatory authorities referred to the danger of handling such substances as they pose a serious threat to the health and safety of public. The alert was made following a number of serious accidents and injuries that took place over the past few years.

The government does not allow trading and use of firecrackers, and anyone found selling, promoting or dealing in these products will be held accountable and legal action will be taken against him.

Abdul Aziz Al Tanak, director of the commercial control section at the DED, said the department will work to stamp out all the negative and unhealthy activities in markets by launching scheduled inspection crackdowns as well as awareness campaigns that aim at acquainting the traders with the laws and regulations streamlining the practice of economic activities and business in the emirate. He said the campaign is designed to protect the traders, consumers and the society from the hazards that result from such negative activities.

“The Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector, in collaboration with other surveillance bodies, will launch organised inspection crackdowns to ensure markets are free of firecrackers. Violators will be booked, and will hefty penalties will be imposed on them in order to root out the menace,” he said.

He advised the consumers to report about the errant traders who sell any dangerous substances, especially those who practise the activities without having the required trade licences or offer online shopping through bogus websites, to gain profit.

He also appealed to parents not to let their children buy firecrackers or get involved in other dangerous games.    

Teaching them young about consumer rights

We at the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, (DED) have been working on launching awareness projects that target all age groups in order to realise our ultimate objective: Create a generation that is well aware of the consumer protection law.These awareness workshops and campaigns are designed according to an organised plan with contributions from all employees of the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Section. These projects have contributed to increasing consumers’ awareness about their rights and duties.

 According to official statistics, the complaints and feedback we receive from customers have increased. In 2010, the section got just 2,900 complaints, but it now receives an average of 1,000 complaints per month.

This indicates that the awareness drives and workshops launched by us have paid off and yielded results. Awareness projects are targeted at all age groups. For instance, the DED organises activities for students at schools to raise their awareness levels and educate them about consumer rights.Recently, the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Section put up specialised signboards at cinemas to educate visitors about movies and their ratings.

 The objective behind this is to protect children from watching improper scenes such as ones with violence. We call on parents to check the ratings of movies before buying tickets for their children. We also strongly recommend that parents select electronic games that best suit their children. We seize this opportunity to urge traders to sell games by cetegorising them according to age suitability.

Dear consumer, the responsibility of enlightening the coming generation about consumer rights is a joint one, and each one of us must get involved and take part in it.

(As told by Adel Al Helou, expert in consumer protection)

Complaints & Responses

Breach of contract: A man claimed that he signed a contract with a trading shop for an air conditioning system with certain specifications, but the shop failed to adhere to terms of the contract. He also alleged the shop refused to cooperate with him when he asked for a replacement. The Consumer Complaints Section summoned the manager of the trading shop, and directed him to replace the AC unit as per the specifications in the contract.

Misleading complaint:  A man complained that he bought a new cell phone from a shop and on reaching home, found out that it was a used one.  The Consumer Complaints Section contacted both the parties and asked them to appear before the arbitrators. After a review of the documents and the phone the complainant submitted before the section, it was revealed that the phone had never been used before. The complainant was intimated about the updates on his case, and the complaint was thus closed.

Buyer gets new device: A consumer placed an online order to buy a personal computer (PC) with extra specifications. But he was delivered a device that was not working. He contacted the website again seeking a replacement. The  Consumer Complaints Section communicated with the website manager, who showed up before the arbitrator, and said that a new device is on its way to the buyer. The seller showed proof for his claim and the complaint was subsequently closed.

(Compiled by Salah Al Deberky)

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