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Parliamentary questions
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21 November 2018
Question for written answer P-005861-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Richard Sulík (ECR)

 Subject:  Determining the maximum margin of retailers in a more favourable economic position when selling and purchasing food products
 Answer in writing 

It follows from the rulings of the Court of Justice (e.g. C-116/84 and C-188/86) that Union law does not prohibit the fixing of a maximum margin for the retail sale of meat, provided that the sales and import costs actually borne by the retailer at the stage of delivery and sale to consumers, including marketing, are counted towards the purchase price for the margin calculation, and provided that the margin is set at a level which does not hinder trade within the Union. Otherwise, a national standard could be in contravention of Article 34 TFEU at least.

The reason is that the net profit of a retailer who imports his products from other Member States is reduced by an amount corresponding to the import costs and is therefore less than the profit that a retailer could make by purchasing products on the domestic market. This can discourage imports from other Member States and encourage retailers to obtain their supplies on the domestic market.

Would it be compatible with EC law if a Member State had set a margin which would not exceed twice the margin of the same, comparable (in terms of use) or interchangeable goods from another supplier, with the mark-up being the difference expressed as a percentage between the selling price and the purchase price?

Would it be in line with EC law to set a maximum margin solely for sellers in a more advantageous economic position regarding the sale and purchase of food products?

Should the draft of such a standard be notified to the Commission prior to its adoption?

Original language of question: SK 
Last updated: 27 November 2018Legal notice