The bill for the creation of a digital price platform was passed by the Ministry – what are the changes
Based on the timelines, it is expected that the digital product price tracking tool will be ready around early of 2024.
By Maria Herakleous
The bill for e– is expected to be submitted to the Parliament in the next period kalathi– the platform recording and monitoring retail prices of products, after the green light received from the Council of Ministers. It is essentially a digital tool, available as an application on consumers' smartphones and which, once passed by the Parliament, will take the road to its implementation and application. “K” spoke with the Consumer Protection Service and the head of the competition branch Aliki Iordanous, who gave a first timetable for its implementation, as well as the changes in relation to the text of the draft, which had been put up for consultation.
What we know
-The minimum annual turnover of the food businesses included in the bill is reduced. Now, food retail businesses (supermarkets) that will be obliged to submit prices must have an annual turnover of more than 2 million in the financial period before the decree was issued, instead of 8 million included in the previous provision. This was done, as the service explains, in order to cover almost the entire retail sector and smaller businesses. It is emphasized that participation in the application is also optional for the rest of the businesses with a turnover of less than 2 million euros.
– Bakeries are not on the platform. While in the draft there was provision for the mandatory participation of bakeries as well, this has now been changed, so that price comparisons are made with businesses of the same type.
-From 8 am the prices will go up with a specific secure process that will connect their cash registers with the e-kalathi platform, while if there is a change during the day, the platform will be updated automatically. In any case, you should not see another price in the store and another on the platform.
-The original draft talked about price data, and included two categories of data – the daily shelf price and the previous day's average price. The previous day's average has been subtracted. Now what the platform should give is the retail price of the day, which will be available every day at 8am, not 10am as it was in the draft. In this way, the consumer will have full information about the prices when the supermarkets open.
-With regard to the product codes, these will be issued by decree by the competent Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry. What has changed in this particular part is the introduction of product categories. A specific annex to the law includes categories of products and food and other basic consumer products that have the greatest weight in a household's basket. The Minister, in his decree, will select the codes with the highest consumption and weight in the basket of a household, by category. One issue that has been raised by the links involved concerns private label codes versus surnames, which is expected to be discussed in the relevant House committee.
-Based on the timelines, it is expected that the digital tool for monitoring product prices, it will be ready around the beginning of 2024. In particular, it should first secure the approval of the Parliament, and then tenders for the selection of a contractor company to create the software will be announced. It is estimated that the bidding process will last two months and another six for the preparation of the software by the best bidder.