AMN / DOHA
Qatar government has ordered all shops in the country to remove goods originating from a group of Saudi Arabian-led countries which has imposed a boycott on the emirate.
A directive from the economy ministry ordered shops to immediately strip shelves of products from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
Inspectors will visit stores to ensure they comply with the order, the ministry said.
The government will also try and stop products such as Saudi dairy goods from entering Qatar via a third country.
Qatar’s Government Communications Office (GCO) said it was trying to “protect the safety of consumers”.
“Products originating from blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the GCC customs territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures,” the GCO said in a statement.
Most retail outlets in Qatar, acting promptly on the Ministry’s order, could be seen already removing all the goods, including some perishable food products, from their shelves.
Enquires with several leading traders, and hypermarkets suggested that they had very little stocks of goods as they were dealing with a very limited number of items sourced from the blockading states. The traders, after the imposition of the siege in early June last year, started exploring and importing goods from alternative destinations.
“First of all we did not have much stock of items from the blockading countries, and whatever we have had, are already removed from the shelves,” said a manager of a popular food centre.
He added: “Most of the goods that were formerly imported from the siege countries are now sourced from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Oman Kuwait and other countries, at competitive prices.”
Replying question on the possible losses, another senior official at a hypermarket, said: “We will return these goods to the traders and suppliers. What they will do with it is not our concern.