Muscat: Regulation of marketing and promotion on websites and social media will be implemented on Friday, March 24, 2023. An administrative fine of OMR 1,000 will be imposed against any violators of the regulation.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion will begin implementing the regulation, as issued by Ministerial Resolution No. (619/2022) on December 25, 2022.
The regulation aims to oversee the marketing and promotion of all products, goods and services through social media. This is in order to protect the merchant and the consumer, provide the necessary protection for e-commerce transactions and preserve the rights of dealers.
Azza bint Ibrahim Al Kindi, Director of the Commercial Affairs and E-Commerce Department at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said: "The regulation aims to oversee the marketing or promotion of any good or service, with or without charge, displayed and published in writing, drawing, image, symbol, sound, or by any other means on any websites or social media that allows user interaction, through what is shared with them by means such as photos, blogs, videos, etc. to reach and interact with customers."
Al Kindi explained that the method for obtaining a licence for "marketing and promotion on websites and social media" is by entering the "Invest Easy" portal through self-service or service centers, and creating a new commercial register or choosing an active commercial register. This can be followed by choosing the commercial registry licensing service, then the activity, and after filling in data and attaching documents, the licence period can be chosen, which ranges from one to three years.
"The licence will be issued automatically without the need for other approvals, in order to facilitate the start of their business," Al Kindi added.
The Director of the Department of Commercial Affairs and E-Commerce confirmed that those addressed by the provisions of the regulation must reconcile their status within a period not exceeding six months from the date of its implementation.
Al Kindi indicated that those wishing to work in this field must obtain a licence to engage in marketing and promotional activity. Persons who practice non-profit work, such as charitable and voluntary work, and activities carried out by the merchant for commodities or services that he sells or provides himself, are excluded from obtaining the licence.
"It is required to obtain a licence to practice the activity through a company registered in the commercial register, and that a licence issued to engage in marketing and promotional activities has not been previously suspended or revoked, as well as to specify the website or social media to be used in carrying out the activity, " Al Kindi said.
Al Kindi mentioned that the committee may impose one of the penalties on violators of the provisions of this regulation, which are:
1) A warning and an administrative fine not exceeding OMR 1,000,
2) Suspension of the licence for a period not exceeding one year,
3) Cancellation of the licence.