The sellers of alcohol to defend the right for discounts

The sellers of alcohol to defend the right for discounts

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The business community asked the Ministry of industry and trade to help relieve the bill to abolish the discount


Photo: lime/Alex Maishev

The largest alcohol producers and grocery chains insist on withdrawing from consideration of the bill, which prohibits the sale of alcohol discounts. Their position, they wrote to the Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov with a request to support them. Lawyers are confident that the planned MPs rules can be easily circumvented, even if the document is eventually accepted.

Major manufacturers and grocery chains appealed to the Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov with a request to remove from consideration in the state Duma parliamentary billthat prohibits the discount of alcohol products. A letter sent to the Ministry of industry and trade on 17 March, it was signed by the representatives of the chamber of Commerce and industry of the Russian Federation, the Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs, Union of Russian brewers, the Union of winegrowers and winemakers of Russia, the Association of retail companies.

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In February 2017 the group of deputies from LDPR introduced a draft on amendments to article 16 of the law “On state regulation of production and turnover of ethyl alcohol…” (171-FZ). According to the amendments prohibits the promotion of alcoholic beverages as its dissemination to the public for free, including as gifts, and using price discounts of alcoholic beverages by any means, including through the issuance of coupons and coupons.

Manufacturers and sellers in the letter to the Minister emphasize that “the law is no concept of “discount” in connection with what could be a broader interpretation of the projected norm.” As an example of such interpretations, they result in a reduction of the retail price of the product in the result of the agreements reached with the supplier, change of price policy of the trading enterprises, the reduction in prices due to changes in the competitive environment, etc. All of these actions can fall under the definition of discounts, “but in fact they are not”, according to businessmen. They remind that according to the law “On advertising” allowed “advertising campaigns involving distribution of samples of alcoholic beverages” only in stationary trading objects, including in the tasting rooms. In addition, in respect of certain types of alcoholic beverages is allowed in the media, so the prohibition of marketing activities in stores is counterintuitive, sure manufacturers and retailers.

Proponents of the bill banning discounts on alcohol indicated in the explanatory Memorandum that “the affordable price of alcohol is one of the causes of alcoholism in Russia.” Business representatives insist that the discounts are not doing legitimate quality products affordable. In Russia there is an administrative barrier in the pricing of alcoholic beverages, we are talking about the minimum retail price (MRTS) on a number of alcoholic beverages, reminded businessmen. MRC is established by the Ministry of Finance.

— This initiative is seen as ineffective for public health purposes and from an economic point of view, and therefore can be attributed to the projects of normative-legal acts which impose excessive regulation on the industry, concluded the authors of the letter to the Ministry.

Organizations are asking the Minister “to support the removal from consideration of this legislative initiative,” adding that the alcohol market is regulated fairly tightly.

One of the initiators of the bill, the Deputy of the state Duma Vladimir Sysoev, insists that discount is one of the mechanisms of attracting people to purchase alcohol.

— A man comes into the store for milk and sees the ad — sold three bottles for the price of two, it compels the customer to buy, the MP said.

The Federal service on 3 March sent its opinion on the proposed MPs bill to the address of the MP Vladimir Sysoev signed by the head of the service Anna Popova. The document says that the CPS supports the legislative initiative regarding the introduction of the restrictive measures to ban the promotion of alcoholic beverages, including the prohibition of discounts on alcohol products.

Now a bill to ban rebates is in the Council of the state Duma, it follows from the document database of the lower house of Parliament. Consideration of document included in the tentative programme of work of deputies in may. Until April 9, the relevant Committee (on economic policy, industry, innovative development and entrepreneurship) collect suggestions and comments to the bill.

The Ministry of industry and trade at the request of “Izvestia” is not answered. In a press-service of the Ministry of Finance said that the project came to the office and is in the works, while conceptual, the Ministry supports it.

Economic development Ministry is preparing its position on the document, said the Agency.

Managing partner of Board of lawyers “starinsky, Cartago and partners” Vladimir starinskij believes that the adoption of the law banning discounts on alcohol it may not work in practice.

— The ban will still be around by renaming the actions in other kinds of sentences that the law referred to will not, — said the lawyer.

As an example, he cites the prohibition of alcohol advertising, “when advertised non-alcoholic beer, although it’s clear that the advertised is not the product.” Plus, while banning discounts on alcohol pereorientirovanija the consumer for cheaper products, which usually is of less quality, said the lawyer.

As already reported by “Izvestia”, the Russians are losing interest in alcohol. According to Ipsos, Comcon, in 2006, 74% of Russians have consumed alcohol at least once a quarter and in 2015, admitted just 69%.

See also:

The state Duma approved fines of up to 1 million rubles for selling alcohol on the Internet

The government has not supported a ban on the sale of alcohol in residential buildings

Manturov: the sale of alcohol on the Internet can legalize in 2017