To prevent the growing misuse of colognes among residents as intoxicants, merchants will soon be required to do the following, a Ministry of Environment circular states:
- Provide a laboratory certificate outlining the composition of the product, in which the ethanol content does not exceed 90 percent and the methanol content stays below 0.05 percent;
- Ensure that one or more ingredients have been added to the product to make it unfit for drinking; and
- Affix a prominent warning advising users that the product is for “external use only” in both English and Arabic.
The perfumes and colognes should also only be sold in bottles that have spray nozzles on them, the circular says.
Alcohol consumption is closely regulated in Qatar, a conservative Muslim country where residents must have a license to purchase it for home use. Because those permits are only granted to expats with relatively high minimum monthly salaries, bootleg distillation is not uncommon.
Last year, for example, police arrested two expats for selling home-made liquor after raiding a villa in the Al Laqta area.
Credit: Photo by Kim