A study by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology has found that 18% of tested detergents in the UAE do not conform to declared weight or volume in their packaging statement.
The field study, conducted in major retail shops in Dubai, covered 104 pre-packaged containers of liquid and powder detergents. The inspection focuses on verifying the accuracy of the weight or volume of the product inside the container.
According to ESMA, 104 samples were drawn, 56 of them are powder and liquid detergents for clothes and fabrics (21 are local products and 35 are imported ones).
Forty-eight of the samples are detergents are used primarily for household cleaning such as liquid dishwashing detergents, disinfectants, multipurpose detergents, household utensils detergents and toilet bowl cleansers (23 are local products and 25 are imported ones).
Out of these 104 samples, 19 are found as non-conforming products (18% per cent) and 85 are found as conforming products (82 per cent). Non-conforming products are those that have been weighed or volume but found lacking as per the declared weight in the packaging statement.
Five per cent of the conforming products, on the other hand, were found to have significant excessive quantities from the nominal value of the package (against the interests of the factory), and this excess, is estimated, but not limited to, have caused AED 8 million worth of losses for a local plant last year.
Violating companies were told to search for the causes of the shortage or excess and take corrective measures immediately.
Eng Mohammed Saleh Badri, Acting Director General, ESMA, said: “This study is in line with ESMA’s mandate to protect consumer and trader’s interests and establish credibility in the UAE marketplace.
“We are committed to ensuring that consumers receive full measure when they purchase a product sold by weight or volume, measure, or count, and that any statements on packaging which declares a weight or measure are accurate. We are also committed to ensuring that manufacturers and traders get to compete in a fair and competitive economy of the UAE.”
“We have started meeting with manufacturers and traders and we told them what the problems are. We are closely working with them in identifying the causes of shortage or excess and the solution to this. We have agreed with them on a course of action, which will correct any non-conformity issues and therefore prevent this issue from happening again in the future.”
Work is also underway to test the samples of extra value to see the quality of the product.
Badri added: “There are 5 per cent that were found to have significant excess weight. This may have adverse effects to the manufacturer or the trader, which we estimate could cost about AED 8 million of loss for a local plant. But we also have to verify the actual content – it may be more in quantity but less in terms of quality, as the product may contain more inactive ingredients or materials, for example.”
“We have finished studying the weight of the detergents. Our next step is to verify the content and quality of the material. In addition to detergents, we will also be studying and verifying other products that consumers are commonly using.”
ESMA is also in active talks with its GCC counterparts especially because some of the brands are manufactured in other countries in the Gulf.
“We will be coordinating with other GCC authorities various steps on making sure that verifying products in terms of the weight accuracy is strictly observed,” Badri added.