CPC against obligatory percentage of Bulgarian products in the shops

The Commission for Protection of Competition took a stance on the proposed amendments of the Bulgarian Food Law, which were sent to the Parliament for discussion in October 2016. A number of state institutions and private companies voiced their disagreement with the proposed changes, which led to the need for a stance from the Commission. In its opinion, the requirement for an obligatory Bulgarian origin of a certain percentage of the food, sold in big supermarket chains, restricts competition. It would lead to a restriction on the free movement of goods, which is not only against the rules of the EU, but it would also cause a decrease of the import of foreign products. That in turn would lead to negative consequences for the end consumer – limited choice, higher prices and a risk of lower quality products. Besides that, the implementation of such requirement would limit the opportunity that merchants have – to attract customers with their own strategy.

The Commission also states that the customers’ needs can be best satisfied through the market mechanisms of search and demand, not through administrative regulations.

In 2016, Romania passed a similar law, which states that 51% of the food, which is sold in big supermarket chains, must be produced in Romania. After the law was brought into force, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against the country for breaching the EU legislation.

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