Qatar has ordered its citizens to stop dealing and buying goods from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt; the four countries, which have severed ties with the tiny gulf country almost a year ago on the ground that Doha sponsors terrorism.
A statement from the Qatari government issued Saturday announced the ban noting that it aimed at protecting the safety of consumers and curb illegal trafficking of goods.
“Products originating from the blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the Gulf Cooperation Council Customs (GCC) Territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures,” the statement said.
Authorities also announced the government’s intention to ensure full compliance with the ban adding that inspectors will be deployed for monitoring.
Qatar has been facing an unprecedented blockade by the quartet, which have cut off sea, air and land links since June last year. The blockade disrupted Qatar’s supply, which largely relied on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The ban, according to reports, came as measure against attempt by dealers from the boycotting countries to smuggle goods into Qatar using the ports of Kuwait and Oman as well as individuals.
“Businessmen from the blockading countries are trying to go around the blockade… by using third parties,” a source was quoted by local press as saying.
Oman and Kuwait are members of GCC. The two countries have adopted a neutral stand and tried to defuse the crisis but to no avail.