Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has promulgated the law according to which Romanian supermarkets will have to sell at least 51% Romanian products, the Presidential Administration said in a statement on 11.07.2016.
The Chamber of Deputies, which was the decisional body, unanimously adopted the bill in June.
The law was disapproved by employers’ organizations and postponed several times.
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Half of the food sold in local stores should be produced in Romania
Romania’s Chamber of Deputies voted the draft law that obliges local hypermarkets and supermarkets to sell more Romanian products.
At least 51% of the products sold by retailers need to be produced in Romania*, according to the law. The draft project also forbids shelf taxes.
The law was adopted unanimously by all MPs that were present for the vote. Before entering into force, the law also needs to be signed by President Klaus Iohannis.
The retailers’ association has reacted saying that the law would affect the consumers that will no longer be able to decide what they buy. This will be politically decided, according to the major retailers’ association – AMRCR.
“The public was deliberately misled by resorting to one of the most beautiful feelings of Romanians, namely patriotism,” reads the AMRCR press release. “It’s obvious that the vote was against the major retailers.”
The law will lead to higher prices, an inflationary spiral that is hardly controllable, and even to under-supply, the retailers’ representatives said.
The big hypermarket and supermarket chains in Romania, most of them part of international groups, have reached almost EUR 10 billion in sales in 2015.
Source: www.romania-insider.com 9.06.2016
* NL Embassy note: Actually the text of the law states that 51% of the fresh products (meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit – except exotic fruit, honey, dairy and bakery products) sold in the large retail chains (over 2 million EUR in net turnover or total assets) should come from short supply chains. Methodology and exceptions to be subsequently regulated by the Government. Short supply chain – according to EU Regulation no. 1305/2013 – means a supply chain involving a limited number of economic operators, committed to co-operation, local economic development, and close geographical and social relations between producers, processors and consumers. Further on, the law states that payment of invoices must be done within 30 days, or 7 days in the case of fresh products. Retail chains can no longer charge suppliers any fees (such as shelf fees). Also, some provisions regarding the labelling of meat and meat products have been introduced. The label of meat must include the country of origin and in case of 100% Romanian meat, this should be labelled with the text “Romanian meat”. For meat products, the percentage of Romanian meat should be included on the label.
The 51% requirement will enter into force within 6 months from the publication of the law in the Official Gazette of Romania. The meat labelling requirements will enter into force 90 days after the communication of the European Comminssion regarding Romania’s notification.
The original text of the law (in Romanian) can be found on: http://www.cdep.ro/pls/proiecte/docs/2015/pr798_15.pdf