The Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship – the supervisory body of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry – has proposed a draft law amending Law 9640 on Chambers of Commerce and Industry (November 9 2006). The draft law would controversially reinstate the compulsory membership of legal entities of the chambers. The ministry argues that this amendment is necessary due to the financial difficulties faced by the chambers. According to the ministry, the chambers and the union cannot fulfil their minimum obligations under international agreements, which might compromise their membership with international organisations such as Euro Chambers and the Association of Balkan Chambers. The main amendments are as follows:
- Membership of a chamber will be compulsory for all legal entities and voluntary for natural persons registered with the Albanian Commercial Register.
- Members of the chamber will pay the annual membership fee by March 31 of each year. The fee amounts and the collection procedures will be determined by the assembly of the union.
- Membership of the union will be compulsory for all chambers. As a membership fee, a chamber will transfer 30% of its annual collected membership fees to the union. For other business organisations, membership of the union will be voluntary based on bilateral agreements between the organisations and the union. The existing requirement that business associations have at least 100 members in order to be denominated as a chamber will be reduced to 50 members.
The Council of Ministers has submitted the draft law to Parliament for discussion and approval.
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