Expats banned from participating in fish auction

According to the updated rules and regulations underlined in a new circular with regards to the proceedings of the fish auction at the fish market, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has forbade non-Kuwaitis or unlicensed people (expatriates) from entering the auction area until the conclusion of the auction. The new Ministerial Decision No. 216/2014 which regulates the activity of the fish auction comes within the framework of regulating the markets and fish auctions to ensure the stability of prices, regulating bidding operations and effectively controlling all aspects of the fish auction.

The circular stresses that the rules and regulations of the ministry must be adhered to, especially the various regulations and provisions, which also serve as a deterrent to consumer exploitation, particularly with pricing and quality of fish.

The first item states that an inspector from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry should be present at the auction and all directives issued by him should be followed.  Among the other items are instructions that the licensed people must carry their identification cards irrespective whether they are owners or brokers or their assistants. And those without identity cards must procure one from the ministry after paying the prescribed fee.

Another item requires all fishmongers to clearly state the price and quality of fish on placards and maintain a record of auction invoices, which should be presented to the ministry inspectors on request.

To maintain fairness in the auction, the owners are not allowed to artificially increase the prices by making bids on their own fish and the auction should end after the count of five.

The ministry has also allocated the shares of bidders as follows, with 35% for companies and restaurants while owners of stalls receive 35%, and 30% for consumers.

In the event that any violations occur, all stringent measures will be taken including the withdrawal of licenses issued to the offenders and the notification of the authorities to take action.