The Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Antimonopoly Service supported changes to the law on trade

Источник: kommersant.ru
Problematic issues in the relations between product manufacturers and retail chains, including unregulated fines and retrobonuses, can be regulated through amendments to the law on trade. The Ministry of Agriculture is inclined to this option, and the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is also considering adjustments. However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade insists that the difficulties are of isolated incidents and are successfully solved in a working order.

The Ministry of Agriculture supports amendments to the law on trade, in particular, for new restrictions for retail chains on collecting bonuses from suppliers. As sources told the Kommersant, First deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture Oksana Lut said this at a meeting in the Ministry of Industry and Trade on January 19. According to the interlocutors of the Kommersant, representatives of a number of manufacturers' associations reported that some retail chains require bonuses when delivering socially significant products. In addition, there were cases of "hidden payments", payments to third parties bypassing restrictions, add sources of the Kommersant.

The Ministry of Agriculture told the Kommersant that hard-to-predict and unregulated fines from retailers, retrobonuses, as well as forcing suppliers to work through intermediaries cause "serious concerns" of representatives of agribusiness and the ministry. Considering that this leads to additional costs for producers and directly affects the increase in consumer prices, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, it is necessary to amend the legislative framework.

The last amendments to the law on trade were adopted in July 2016. Then, in particular, the total amount of payments charged by retail from suppliers was limited to 5% of the price of the goods. The amount should include the costs of advertising, logistics and other services, as well as a volume bonus. When purchasing poultry meat, pasteurized milk and some bakery products with a shelf life of less than ten days, charging of bonuses was prohibited.

The Union of potato and vegetable market participants proposes to expand the list of goods for which it is prohibited to charge bonuses with borsch set vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, onions, beets, carrots), says the head of the union's staff Tatiana Gubina. According to her, this will help to restrain the growth of prices for these categories. According to Rosstat, by the end of December 2021, fruit and vegetable products rose in price by 13.98%, and all food products - by 11.77% year on year.

As sources tell the Kommersant, Deputy Head of the FAS Timofey Nizhegorodtsev also allowed including part of the norms of the Code of Good Practices (CGP, regulates relations between suppliers and retail chains on a voluntary basis) into the law. According to the interlocutor of the Kommersant among suppliers, it is necessary to consolidate the mandatory planning and execution of the order, the prohibition of unreasonable fines, including for previous periods, as well as the prompt coordination of price changes in an objective economic situation. The FAS told the Kommersant that the trade law was initially of a framework nature, and Timofey Nizhegorodtsev suggested holding several more meetings and further discussing the initiative.

The interlocutor of the Kommersant in a large retail chain assures that suppliers' messages about problems are individual cases and are not of systemic incidents. According to him, manufacturers obviously sought to emphasize the need for legislative changes. The Association of Retail Companies, X5 Group (Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, Karusel), Magnit, Lenta, Auchan and Metro did not provide comments.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade considers it too early to amend the law on trade, Deputy Head of the Ministry Viktor Yevtukhov told the Kommersant. According to him, all controversial issues are not systemic and are resolved promptly and peacefully. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will take part in the analysis of individual claims of manufacturers to retail chains in order to make decisions that suit all parties, Mr. Yevtukhov added.

Mikhail Burmistrov, CEO of Infoline-Analytics, notes that the inclusion of certain self-regulation norms and decisions of the commission on CGP in the legislation will provide a better effect than developing regulations from scratch, and, most importantly, minimizes the risks of insufficiently qualified regulation.



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