Oman allows multiple agency agreements for imports, clarifies ministry
August 12, 2017 | 5:06 PM
by Times News Service
Times file picture of Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Muscat: Foreign companies exporting goods and services to Oman can have multiple agency agreements with local firms and Oman government does not allow exclusive monopoly import agency right, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said.

This is part of the amendments in Commercial Agencies Act, which was enacted few years ago and was aimed at ensuring availability of goods and services in the domestic market at attractive prices.

“This is because the government realises the importance of the commercial agencies and the need for multiple agencies for a healthy market,” said a ministry statement.

The amendment in Commercial Agencies Act in 1996 had cancelled monopoly right for a single agency, while another amendment in 2014 withdrew preference to a registered local agent. Presently, there are no laws to protect local agencies for exclusive import rights.

Imports of same goods and services by several companies (or parallel imports) are legally permitted, and there is no additional commission or agency fee for such imports. These import permits are available for both companies and individuals. However, individuals are allowed to import goods and services only for their personal use, said the statement. A registered agent no longer has the right to claim commission from other companies that import goods.

The import activity of a local agent is protected through a contract between a foreign agent and a local agent, like any other country.

The ministry said that such an open permit system helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to import foreign products for their own use, rather than depend on a third party for their import requirements.

Merchants can get the necessary permits for their import easily through the Bayan system, which saves time and effort.

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