13 April, 2020
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BIH blocked increase of grocery and oil prices during the state of emergency

Due to the state of the emergency introduced as a result of the largest pandemic in modern times, all countries and economies of the world found themselves in challenging times.  Food and grocery retailers inevitably found themselves under pressure to meet requirements of all customers and supply enough quantities of goods. As it happens whenever there is a crisis in history, some retailers try to profit from it by increasing prices of basic foodstuffs.

Therefore, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“FBiH”) issued a Decision to establish conditions for listing direct price control measures in the territory of the FBIH, and on the day this Decision came into force, the earlier Decision on Direct Control Measures was set aside.

One measure of direct price control is to establish margins in food stores. The Price Control Act prescribes measures of direct control over products within cantons, cities, municipalities, but also over other foodstuffs, basic hygiene and other products sold by all participants in the supply chain, i.e. companies, entrepreneurs and individuals producing and conducting wholesale and retail trade.

Legal entities and natural persons are obliged to determine margins not exceeding those that were in place on March 5, 2020 for the same product.

This applies to all types of flour, all types of bread, pastries and other bakery products made from flour and cereals, active yeast, milk, and dairy products, eggs and egg products, sugar, tea, spices, salt for human consumption, rice, pasta, vegetable, and animal fats, all kinds of fresh meat, fish and fish derivatives, fruits and vegetables, vinegar, canned food, canned food, drinking water, edible oil, infant formulas, and lactation formulas, processed cereal, foods infant and toddler food, nutritional supplements, dietary supplements (including gluten-free products), special medical supplies, disposable diapers for children and adults, sanitary napkins, laundry detergents, and dishes detergents.

Since the epidemic is still spreading, personal hygiene is of key importance, so margins were also imposed on soap, water, surface and hand disinfectants (including concentrated alcohol), toilet paper, toothpaste, protective glasses and other protective and medical clothing and footwear, goggles and visors, safety gloves and shoe covers, surgical face masks, FFP2 and FFP3 face masks, bedding and other underwear for the health system, all types of seed and planting material, protective agents plant health, animal feed, and animal feed components, and fertilizer.

The margins were also fixed on fuel.  The maximum margin in wholesale is set at KM 0.06 per liter and KM 0.25 per liter in retail.  This was done with the aim to intervene in time in the FBIH oil market and prevent irresponsible behavior of all participants in the oil supply chain.

Federal, cantonal, city and municipal and market inspectorates are responsible to implement and monitor compliance with the Decision.

 

For more information, please contact us via covid19@geciclaw.com.