Prior permission required to import CCTV cameras

Doha: A prior permission is required from Security Systems Department (SSD) at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to import closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera from abroad. “The importer is required to provide specification of the CCTV cameras to SSD’s Inspection Section seeking permission to import such cameras for installing in companies and institutions mandated to have such cameras. Then SSD will issue approval for importing and installing the cameras according to the requirements,” said Captain Jassim Saleh Al Sulaiti. 

He said that as per the procedure a confirmation certificate from the Department is also needed after installation of cameras to ensure that they were fixed properly at suitable places.  Al Sulaiti was speaking in an awareness webinar titled ‘Importance of Security Surveillance Cameras and Systems in Enhancing Safety and Security’ held yesterday. The event was organised by the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior in association with Security Systems Department which falls under the General Directorate of Information Systems.

To a question about the firms mandated for installing CCTV camera, Al Sulaiti said: “The law classified all those firms which are mandated to install CCTV cameras and a list of these firms is available on the website of the Ministry of Interior.”  He said that the department has started conducting campaigns to inspect the firms to ensure the compliance of the rules related to installing and operating CCTV cameras. “During the inspection drive, some violations were recorded against firms for not complying the rules such as failure in conducting necessary maintenance of cameras and installing them without taking prior permission,” said Al Sulaiti.

Al Sulaiti explained the violations and penalties imposed on establishments mandated to install cameras and security-monitoring devices and those responsible for operating them. “The violations under the provision of the law include non-compliance of the company/ institution in adhering to the rules banning the transfer, storage or publication of any of the recordings (footage) without approval of the competent authority.” He said that installation of cameras and surveillance devices in bedrooms, physiotherapy rooms, toilet, changing rooms and places designated for women is also violation. “Another violation is non-compliance of the company owner and responsible person for its management to install cameras and security monitoring devices and operate them round-the-clock in accordance with approved specifications,” said Al Sulaiti. He said that failure of the facility owner and the person responsible for managing it to have a control room for the facility in accordance with the approved certification is also considered violation.

Speaking about the services provided by SSD, Al Sulaiti said, “SSD issues licenses for security surveillance cameras and devices after confirmation by its Inspection Section.” He said that the Department also issues conformity certification for cameras and security surveillance devices and installation places after installation. “SSD licenses companies for fixing and conducting maintenance of security and surveillance cameras and devices. It also issues licenses for importing cameras and security surveillance devices,” said Al Sulaiti. 

He said that SSD is responsible to implement the law of the installation of cameras and surveillance equipment in the State, not only in the streets, but also in all major places and facilities across the country.

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