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Oman amends rules for promotional campaigns

Oman Saturday 24/October/2020 22:00 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman amends rules for promotional campaigns

Muscat: Shops in commercial complexes  in Oman will only be allowed to run collective promotions for their goods and services once a year, for a period of three days, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has said.

This decision came alongside a number of others regarding the conditions under which stores are permitted to offer discounts and run promotional campaigns.

The changes were made following consultations with the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19, after the ministry began receiving requests from companies to run promotional campaigns and discounts from September 15 onwards.

These decisions by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion will come into effect after they have been published in the Official Gazette on Monday, October 26.

These changes were issued under Ministerial Decision No. 184/2020, which modifies some of the conditions under which promotional activities can be conducted, as governed by Commercial Registry Law No. 3/74, and the Trade Law, issued by Royal Decree No. 55/90, as well as by Resolution No. 239/2013.

Promotional schemes affected by these amendments include all those listed under Ministerial Resolution No. 239/2013.

All advertising campaigns organised by commercial, industrial and service establishments are included.  Exempted from this ruling are promotional events organised by fast food establishments at shopping malls.

Offers that promote activities in which customers receive gifts on buying goods from participating stores are also exempted.

All goods and services that are part of these promotional activities must be packaged together, with all advertisements, posters and other material. They must  receive approval of the ministry before being broadcast publicly.

Excluded from the above regulations, however, are promotions related to festivals organised by malls and other retail centres, as well as publicity announcing the opening of a new branch of an existing company, which is allowed to run for only a single day, provided the ministry has approved the campaigns related to these activities before they begin.

Any organisation must obtain the appropriate licence from the ministry before running any advertising and/or promotional campaign.

Applications for such a licence must be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion at least 15 days before the company in question wishes to begin its campaign.

The request to the ministry must include the following details: the type of offer, how it is to be announced to the public, the duration for and locations at which this offer will run. It should also list prizes and/or gifts offered to customers who take part in activities such as raffle draws. The submission must also explain how companies will withdraw these campaigns once they have been completed.

The price of goods offered under promotions – as well as the raffle coupons associated with them – must not exceed the prices at which they were sold before the promotion began.

The price of goods offered under promotions – as well as the raffle coupons associated with them – must not exceed the prices at which they were sold before the promotion began.

The advertising of tobacco products and their derivatives is also not permitted, with those violating this rule prohibited from conducting promotional activities for a year from the date on which they are found guilty.

This decision will be made within 30 days from the date of violation by the Undersecretary for Commerce and Industry. Failure to decide within this period will be termed a rejection of this particular claim of violation.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has also introduced Ministerial Decree No. 185/2020, which amends provisions of the Regulation of Sale and Reduced Prices based on Commercial Registry Law No. (3/74), and the Trade Law issued by Royal Decree No. 55/90.

The first article of Resolution No. 129/2015 now allows for a commercial centre in which a number of shops are located, to apply for a licence permitting many shops within to sell goods at a discount, instead of the shops themselves applying for these permits individually.

This decision will be taken on Tuesday, the day after its publication in the Official Gazette. A minimum discount of 30 percent is to be offered, over a period of up to three days.

These decisions were made to stimulate the economy, improve people’s spending capabilities, and raise awareness of products available locally, as well as enabling companies to carry out their commercial activities smoothly.