FOCUS SHORT

New law applies to retail chains

THE BARGAINING position of Slovak suppliers of retail chains should soon improve. The Slovak Parliament adopted a law with this objective on October 26. Taking effect on January 1, 2013, the law on unfair terms in retail chains, the subject of which is food, defines as unreasonable conditions the requirement of a fee for the inclusion of a supplier in the register of suppliers, a fee for the inclusion of a food product into the records of sold products, as well as financial benefits for services that were not provided. A merchant can be fined from €1,000 to €300,000 if such inappropriate terms are anchored in a business contract with a supplier, the SITA newswire wrote.

THE BARGAINING position of Slovak suppliers of retail chains should soon improve. The Slovak Parliament adopted a law with this objective on October 26. Taking effect on January 1, 2013, the law on unfair terms in retail chains, the subject of which is food, defines as unreasonable conditions the requirement of a fee for the inclusion of a supplier in the register of suppliers, a fee for the inclusion of a food product into the records of sold products, as well as financial benefits for services that were not provided. A merchant can be fined from €1,000 to €300,000 if such inappropriate terms are anchored in a business contract with a supplier, the SITA newswire wrote.

The legislation met with stiff resistance from the opposition. Zsolt Simon, MP for Most-Híd and former agriculture minister, regarded the bill as plainly wrong. He said merchants would get around it by concluding contracts with suppliers from abroad, which will ultimately mean a further disadvantage for local suppliers and reduce the share of Slovak food in retail chains.

“These relationships need to be addressed at the EU level,” Simon said.

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