Statutory conditions will apply to all new contracts for the supply of foodstuffs entered into from 1 January 2013
Customers and suppliers of foodstuffs must also introduce the conditions into all existing contracts by 28 February 2013.
The conditions are imposed by new legislation intended to prevent chain stores from abusing their dominant economic position by imposing one-sided terms on economically weaker parties.
This includes a requirement that the period for payment of the purchase price of foodstuffs may not end more than 30 days from receipt of the invoice, or more than 45 days after delivery of the goods.
As well as a set of compulsory conditions, there is also a further set of invalid conditions:
- Paying the customer a reward for including foodstuffs in its register of suppliers
- Paying the customer a reward for including foodstuffs in its records of products sold
- Paying the customer a reward for promoting it or its promotional events without an adequate consideration
- Paying the customer additional compensation in the event that foodstuff sales exceed estimates
- Paying the customer a reward for it to conduct a market survey
- Paying the customer a reward of more than 3% of the customer's income for placing foodstuffs in a certain position on the customer's premises, for sales support activities or use of the customer's distribution network
- Imposing controls on the supplier's costs
- Giving the customer a right to return or exchange foodstuffs without giving a reason
- Preventing suppliers from being identified on their foodstuffs
- Requiring additional performance after receiving the foodstuffs or reducing the agreed price for them
- Applying discriminatory business conditions towards different suppliers performing the same obligation
- Seeking price guarantees lasting longer than 3 months
- Requiring the debtor’s consent to its assignment of receivables
- Imposing inadequate penalties for its contractual non-compliance
- Imposing obligations on the supplier that are unrelated to the foodstuffs being supplied
New and existing contracts which do not comply with the new conditions after 1 January and 28 February 2013 respectively may attract penalties ranging from €1,000 to €300,000, with repeat penalties for continued non-compliance.
The website of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will be updated periodically with details of all controls, infringement and penalties.
Law: Act No. 362/2012 on inadequate conditions in business relationships, the subject of which are foodstuffs