ALGIERS-The services of the Ministry of Commerce have reported more than 2,800 commercial offences countrywide, said Thursday in Algiers Inspector General of the Ministry of Commerce, Karim Kech.
Offenses include the sale of products unfit for consumption, the sale of non-compliant goods, lack of hygiene, non-display of prices, non-compliance with prices and tariffs in force and the exercise of an commercial activity without a commercial register.
The Ministry of Commerce’s service control program focuses on commercial activities that are in high demand during the summer season, including restaurants, cafes, tea rooms and hotels, the same official said. Special teams were working to verify the quality of food products and goods offered to consumers in order to avoid collective food poisoning and health problems caused by the consumption of damaged or expired products.
“We are stepping up control operations on what we consider to be sensitive activities, which are generally in high demand at this time,” he added, adding that “each department is called upon to adapt its annual work program to these activities”.
Due to high demand, many perishable products are exposed in the open air in the summer, such as mineral water, eggs and cheese, added the same source, noting that some seasonal activities bloom near beaches, mountains, forests, spas and other places for walking.
“The law prohibits formally and sanctions the sale of goods, off the commercial premises and in unsanitary conditions,” said Kech.
In this regard, he stated that the protection of consumer health was one of the main tasks entrusted to the central services of the Ministry of Commerce or external services, namely the wilaya’s directorates and inspectorates.
In addition to the usual work done during the summer season, the control services at the Ministry of Commerce participate in the work of the national multidisciplinary commission, in charge of the preparation of the summer season under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior.
Composed of representatives of the tourism, health, environment, water resources and energy sectors, including, this commission gives birth to commissions of wilayas whose mission complements the missions of the Ministry of Commerce to cover the largest number of commercial spaces and regions, he added.
More than 1700 commercial crimes recorded in July in Algiers
Through its external services, the sector contributes to the work of the communal commissions for the protection of the health, whose elements are distributed through the coastal wilaya, which have a strong affluence of the summer visitors every year.
The Inspector General reported the deployment of some 6,800 officers at the national level in addition to 25 laboratories specialized in quality control and the fight against fraud, which are supported by the laboratories of the police services and the Gendarmerie, in the objective of carrying out the technical control of some goods.
During the first 9 months of 2018, the services in question had recorded more than 170,000 violations as a result of the 1,391,629 interventions carried out, which led to the establishment of 161,539 court proceedings and the closure proposal of 12,497 commercial buildings.