New law in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina aims to regulate protection of merchants from prohibited advertising.
The Law on Prohibited Advertising (Law) was published on 23 December 2016 and will enter into force on 31 December 2016.
The Law regulates forms of prohibited advertising, the procedure for protection of merchants and criteria for prohibition of comparative advertising. The Law is applicable to all legal and natural personas who sell goods or provide services to consumers within their business activity, and to all persons acting on their behalf and for their (Merchants), unless otherwise prescribed by the law.
The Law defines deceptive advertising and prohibited comparative advertising as forms of prohibited advertising. Deceptive advertising is defined as that which leads or may lead to delusion of persons at whom it is directed or persons whom it reaches, and thereby influences their economic behavior, or advertising which harms or may harm market competitors. Prohibited comparative advertising refers either directly or indirectly to market competitors or their goods and/or services.
Besides criteria for assessment of prohibition of individual advertisements, the Law provides the procedure that serves to protect Merchants and specifies where interested persons may file a lawsuit to initiate urgent proceedings before the competent municipal court and in order to request that an existing publication be terminated or that pending prohibited advertising be banned. Initiating court proceedings does not preclude the voluntary regulation or initiation of proceedings before associations of Merchants or associations which have adopted codes of conduct in certain business practices or commercial sectors. In the event that the advertising of certain goods or services, i.e. prohibition or limitation of advertising, is regulated by specific rules, those rules shall apply.