Researcher Shatha Khalil *
In recent years, especially after 2003, there have been many negative economic phenomena that have affected the citizen in particular, and the Iraqi economy in general , where local markets have become a field for the disposal of counterfeit and expired products and not subject to censorship. The Iraqi authorities are fighting a different kind of war against smuggling through the commercial ports with neighboring countries, in conjunction with a similar war within cities targeting industrial areas in search of workshops and factories practiced industrial and commercial fraud together, which has spread in the country.
Although the House of Representatives has passed the Consumer Protection Law, it still exists and is widespread. The existence of uncensored goods is imported by many traders. It is paid by citizens due to the existence of industrial fraud, which is fraudulent on their trademarks and the weakness of economic and legal control led to the spread of dozens of factories that practice commercial fraud through the imitation of the brands of goods and foodstuffs and extend the validity of the expired in order to harm the health of the citizen, as well as damage to the national industry, especially those of the importer, and the areas of the outskirts of the capital are witnessing a great proliferation of factories and printing presses operating in this field , Iraq is losing thousands of dollars every day as a result of the absence of controls that determine the brands that fit the Iraqi specifications. Most traders in Iraq import thousands of tons of counterfeit goods under international trade names and trademarks, whereas these goods represent 10% of the original materials bearing the mark
Economists believe that the falsification of brands and validities are another kind of terrorism aimed at the health of the citizen by deliberately enter the expired food and are often carcinogenic exploit the corruption that gnaws border ports, which allows the entry of those goods and foodstuffs that do not meet international standards, which led to the lack of confidence between the citizen and the regulatory bodies that you see active in the provinces and disappear in the capital Baghdad.
Cheat Milk Factor:
In Diwaniyah province, the Director General of Diwaniyah Health Department, Lamia Al-Hasnawi, confirmed in February that the health control teams, through its intensive and accurate tours, managed to control the largest milk and Tide factory to pack and falsify international brands.
Al-Hasnawi explained that the factory secretly packing the various materials and puts on them fake brands belonging to well-known commercial companies such as the brand of Nido and Al-Mudhish milk and , and Erial powder for washing. Al-Hasnawi pointed out that all materials were confiscated and the owner of the factory was referred to the competent investigative and judicial authorities.
Reasons for Industrial Fraud:
Most of the local factories were stopped after 2003, in conjunction with the increasing demand for most consumer goods and the continued stagnation of the market after the years of the hard siege, and after the almost complete opening of products coming from abroad, in addition to the need for goods, there are many consumer goods entered the country in large quantities and similar . The trend towards globalization led to the emergence of giant global companies, and the system of participation of the product until it became difficult to determine its nationality.
All this led to the sale of counterfeit goods, which led to great losses of the national economy . The consumer of the counterfeit item buys it for a cheap price, stays with him for a few months and buys another ones until we find that he consumes a number of units within one year while the original commodity stays with him for years, noting that the false goods have a significant damage to the consumer, not in the short term, but in the long term, leading to large losses on the national economy, so it can be said that the original commodities are goods that have tangible physical properties and sufficient legal protection and long life as well.
Iraqi government officials confirm that commercial fraud has escalated in the last two years. Some have exploited the preoccupation of security forces and state agencies with the war a gainst ” ISIS” , prompting the markets to expand fraud and profiteering.
In the same context, a member of the quality committee in the Iraqi Ministry of Industry Mohammed Khalidi said , that the Iraqi authorities have formed 82 teams monitoring and inspection in all cities of the country to prosecute workshops and laboratories practiced commercial fraud, estimated at more than 5000 labs at least, the manufacture of various materials badly and deceiving consumer by various commercial brands.
Khalidi stressed that the Iraqi economy has incurred more than 100 million dollars annually, in addition to recording cases of deaths among citizens, estimated to increase fraud by 100% over the past two years.
He added that widespread factories of counterfeit goods, including Coke bottles , a soda bottle , tomato paste, car batteries, various food casseroles, electric appliances, and clothing, are filling the market, using well-known brands, selling at a lower price, and consumers in villages and distant cities which are out of control are victims of these fraud goods .
Citizens and the national economy are the victims of industrial fraud!
The process of dumping goods and ignorance in guidance , they would alert the consumer to the dangers of counterfeit goods, the absence of the role of control and non-activation of the law of consumer protection, as is the case in many countries of the world, which means abandoning the concerned authorities in the Iraqi state to protect the consumer especially when it comes to some food, medicine or cosmetic goods which chemical materials are incorporated in its manufacture .
Food damage or corruption has become a recurrent occurrence in Iraq, which is controlled by several factors, including food composition, its ability to withstand moisture, the proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates involved, the method of circulation, manufacturing steps, time, storage, as well as the existence of microorganisms surrounding the food, and what is required to realize is the impossibility of achieving the effect of each factor alone, all the factors above all work together, and affect all of each other without the possibility of separation.
The process of concealing the fact of the goods by changing them materially to become something else with the intention of showing them without their real appearance as “commercial fraud”, with the presentation that the definition of this crime and the contexts followed in dealing with the reasons vary from country to country based on the nature of legal legislation in force, the interestingly the multitude of methods of commercial fraud , for example not exclusive , the dairy free of milk, sausages free from meat and other counterfeit products remain a concern for government agencies and consumers in some countries. Russian authorities were forced in 2016 to close the plant to produce flammable cheese, after it was proved that it does not contain a trace of milk, and is suitable according to Russian sources only to fill a lantern of gas oil.
And, of course, spreading their economic awareness, warning them of counterfeit goods, accompanied by inspections of counterfeit goods in traders, comparing prices to original commodity prices, and punish traders who sell counterfeit goods with the same price as original goods where counterfeit goods have a special pricing strategy differ from original goods with known originators and basic global brands.
Because of the many international companies involved in the production of this product, for example not inclusive , the car manufacturers are manufacturing spare parts and the collection of parts from other countries using some of the electronics manufactured in Japan, there are many spare parts of Japanese cars imitated and manufactured in the countries of East Asia, and not only the auto parts, but many counterfeit goods are sold under the word : ” made in Japan”, while they were manufactured in other countries, and even some were manufactured internally at different times.
It is very important to protect and educate the Iraqi consumer to distinguish between the original product and the imitator, especially as Iraq wants and seeks to enter the World Trade Organization, which means full openness to the world markets to allow a wide range of what has become known as commercial fraud, which requires everyone to face the wave of commercial fraud and to fight with all potentials and capabilities, by encouraging our national industry, and opening the way to manufacture materials imported from abroad, where we have the financial and human resources, which will contribute significantly to the return of the private sector to work in accordance with the perspective and a new vision, as long as many of the goods coming to Iraq are manufactured in neighboring countries, or somewhat distant, so the manufacturing them in Iraq is possible in light of the availability of human and material resources together.
In summary, the consumer (the Iraqi citizen) is the biggest loser of the deterioration of the quality of products, in addition to harming the national economy. The past period has been characterized by a lot of news reports based on data from health authorities and some local governments, which talked about the lack of validity of many food products – which are being promoted by specialized groups in this criminal path – for human consumption, given the seriousness of some of the raw materials used in the manufacture process on human health and safety, but others are being repackaged after the change of dates of production and the validity period, despite being damaged or expired, are presented to consumers again in the local market, as new goods produced in solid factories, as happened with many corrupt food products that enter the country under the objective conditions that contributed to the spread the corruption phenomenon.
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies