Service charge is illegal except by restaurants paying local fees

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His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shihhi, Director General of the Ministry of Economy, has reiterated that service charges levied by restaurants that do not pay local department fees are illegal.
He was meeting representatives of local economic departments to explain to them the details of the decision taken recently by the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection to stop restaurants from levying service charge to the consumer bill.

The Committee warned restaurants against this practice. This followed several complaints received by the Ministry of Economy that some restaurants were charging as much as 5 to 20 per cent of the bill as service charge, which the Committee said is against the consumer protection law number 26 for year 2006.

During the meeting, Al Shihhi directed representatives of local departments to contact restaurants and cafes that levy the illegal service charge.

Local departments are forming special team works to inform and stop restaurants from adding the illegal charge to the bill except by those restaurants that pay local fees such as the ones functioning inside hotels and other locations that require local fees.

“The local departments have showed high interest in immediately implementing the Committee’s decision,” Al Shihhi added.

Mr Al Shhihi said that the Ministry will take serious measures against those who violate the law, adding that the Committee has recommended the implementation of Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law and to contact all government departments to take action against restaurants that charge the illegal service fee. He also called upon all restaurants to cooperate with the local departments.

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