Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality standards in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has announced the results of inspections carried out in the markets of Abu Dhabi emirate throughout 2015. The inspection drive aimed to verify the accuracy of legal measuring instruments and pre-packaged containers and ensure the compliance of controlled products sold in Abu Dhabi markets to relevant safety and quality standards and requirements.
As part of the campaign, a total of 2,034 trade scales and balances used by groceries and supermarkets in the sale of vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs were inspected. Additionally, 515 gold, jewelry and precious metal scales, and 228 Arabic oud and perfume scales were verified.
QCC also confirmed the accuracy of 57 scales used in shipping activities by companies such as Aramex and DHL, along with the verification of 37 steelyards used for loads that weighed more than two tons. The most difficult inspection activity, the verification of steelyards largely takes three to five hours depending on capacity and location.
Commenting on the results, Mohammed Helal Al Balooshi, Marketing & Communications Acting Director at Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), said: “In our priority to ensure the safety and quality of products sold in the Abu Dhabi markets as well as their continued compliance with relevant standards and regulatory requirements, QCC carries out routine inspection drives to make our markets safer and fairer for both consumers and traders. This continued market surveillance contributes to enhanced market stability as well as to improved consumer trust in the products sold. We are confident such efforts will ensure the Abu Dhabi economy remains competitive, sustainable and diversified supported by a solid quality infrastructure.”
During the inspection, QCC verified 2,130 pre-packaged containers. The process was conducted as part of the pre-packaged container verification service launched by QCC in Q3 2015.
Furthermore, QCC verified the accuracy of 3,641 fuel meters used at 148 ADNOC petrol stations across Abu Dhabi, as well as the Eastern Region and Western Region.
QCC also distributed 1,600 measurement rulers to garments and tailoring shops across the Abu Dhabi emirate that use the metric unit of length in buying and selling garments. The move followed an earlier awareness campaign rolled out at the end of 2014 to replace yards with meters as the official approved unit of length.
QCC additionally called upon consumers to look for the gold-colored sign on scales prior to the purchase of all items. Customers were also advised to report the issue to the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre on 800 555 should they detect the use of scales carrying the red rejection sign.
In the area of inspection of controlled products, QCC verified 68,332 products including children’s toys, household electrical appliances, cigarettes and tobacco products, as well as vehicle tires.
For his part, Bashar Kikoloff, General Manager, Aramex said: “As a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, Aramex is committed to cooperating with Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council in its inspection drives to ensure the highest degree of transparency in our operations. Such inspection visits support our efforts to improve the quality of services and products offered to our clients across the country and ensure compliance with QCC’s quality standards. We thank QCC for its continued efforts in monitoring the markets and look forward to strengthening our cooperation to enhance our business operations and better meet community needs.”
Najib Mukanna, General Manager at Salem Shueibi Jewellery, said: “As part of our strict quality policy at Salem Shueibi Jewellery, we are keen to maintain the highest standards and quality specifications in the sale of gold jewelry and precious metals. Towards this priority, we are happy to work with QCC inspectors in verifying the accuracy of scales used at our outlets and ensure our compliance with the Council’s specifications and standards. We reiterate our commitment to prioritizing consumer safety by adhering to the highest international standards with regard to the accuracy of our scales and measuring devices. ”
QCC also offers product conformity verification services including the visual inspection of products using specialized inspection equipment that ensures the continued conformity of products to the applicable safety standards and requirements. In addition, the Council offers product testing services through its accredited laboratories. QCC collaborated with product suppliers to take corrective actions on 13 different products to ensure their adherence to the mandatory safety requirements out of 5,818 products tested in 2015.
In 2014, QCC ran several inspection campaigns that resulted in the withdrawal of more than 14,455 products from the markets and conducted awareness campaigns targeting manufacturers, suppliers and traders to highlight the importance of product safety. Due to these efforts, the number of non-compliant products for safety requirements in 2015 dropped 30% to 9,618 products – including 5,818 products that underwent corrective measures and 3,800 products that were withdrawn from the markets.
Furthermore, QCC participated in a series of awareness drives that aimed to promote an advanced culture of safety in Abu Dhabi including its ‘Safety Starts at Homes’ campaign that targeted household electrical appliances to ensure their conformity to the mandatory health and safety requirements. The Council also received a conformity certificate from the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA) for its participation in a campaign aimed to ensure the accuracy of measurement devices. This campaign targeted weighing scales, pre-packaged containers, drinking water and energy drinks to ensure their compliance with relevant quality requirements.
In September 2015, QCC launched a ‘Quality Partner’ program to encourage businesses to conform to relevant quality, safety and technical standards and regulations through self-assessment and voluntary commitment schemes. Offering participants several privileges, the program received high uptake from owners of business establishments throughout Abu Dhabi reflecting their commitment to safeguard the rights of both traders and consumers.
The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council was established in 2009 to raise the quality of the emirate’s exports and locally traded products, while protecting the interests of consumers and supporting the UAE’s competitive economy. This is achieved through empowering regulators to establish and implement product safety, legal metrology and conformity schemes. QCC also sets guidelines and benchmarks to identify and verify that the products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.