Meeting of the PAC at MART on the issue of the draft Law of the Republic of Belarus "On amendments to laws on trade and public catering"


Deputy Chairman of the Association of European Businesses Maria Karas and representatives of AEB member companies took part in a meeting of the public advisory council under the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade on the issue of the draft Law of the Republic of Belarus "On amendments to laws on trade and public catering". Since the main aspects of the regulation of the draft Law could not be considered within the framework of one meeting, they will be considered at the next council.

Establishing a minimum share of sales of domestically produced goods in the total volume of sales of goods is contrary to the norms of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union and will lead to a negative reaction from the EAEU authorities, as well as create risks of various kinds of barriers to the access of goods originating from the Republic of Belarus to the markets of member countries EAEU.

The introduction of restrictions on the provision by suppliers to retailers of certain types of remuneration in connection with the purchase and sale of food products, provided for by the new version of Article 19 of the Law on Trade, will lead to a number of negative consequences, both for business entities and the population of the Republic of Belarus.

The introduction of restrictions and prohibitions related to the payment of remuneration in relation to food products may entail:

  • growth of retail prices and activation of inflationary processes;
  • reduction in the range of goods and deterioration in the level of trade services for the population;
  • growth in imports of consumer goods;
  • decrease in financial stability and solvency of trade organizations up to bankruptcy;
  • decrease in retail trade turnover, and, as a result, tax revenues to the budget;
  • tougher requirements for retail chains to provide additional discounts or increase their size, tougher penalties;
  • the appearance of shadow monetary or commodity settlements;
  • the practice of mandatory collection of such payments not lower than the amount established by the legislator, as well as to give rise to ways to “bypass” and “replace” this restriction, or even corrupt schemes for their collection and payment.