President of the Competition Council in the meeting of the presidency of the Trade Association Council of the Croatian Chamber of the Economy

The purpose of the meeting was starting the dialogue between the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) and the State Inspectorate relating to the difficulties the trade sector has been facing and addressing the recent issues in carrying out inspections and the implementation of the Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act).

Josip Zaher, the chairman of the Croatian Chamber of the Economy for Trade and Finance, brought up the necessity of further adjustments of the UTPs Act taking into account the fact that the objectives of its provisions – the increased marketing and protection of domestic production – have not been attained, and yet, there has been a rise in imports.

The president of the Competition Council, Mladen Cerovac referred to the fact that with the view to creating a level playing field in the marketing of agri and food products it was necessary to have the UTPs Act in place. The period from its entry into force to its full application had been relatively short given the fact that this was a completely new legal area that had to be covered. It was therefore likely that the UTPs Act would need some revisions especially taking into consideration the need to bring the UTPs Act in compliance with the EU Directive on unfair trading practices. Regarding the fines that the CCA imposes in line with the UTPs Act, Cerovac repeated that sanctioning in itself was not the primary objective, only the last resort, when other instruments cannot restore fair trading conditions in the market.

Ivica Katavić, the president of the Trade Association of the Croatian Chamber of the Economy identified the standpoints regarding the necessary future revisions of the UTPs Act concerned.