Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (719)

Brendan Smith

Question:

719. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to appoint an independent retail regulator further to the EU legislation on unfair trading practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23767/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Directive (EU) 2019/633 on Unfair Trading Practices in Business-to-Business Relationships in the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain (UTP Directive), was agreed on 13 March 2019. Transposition of the Directive is required within 24 months from publication on 17 March 2019.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has responsibility for the current national legislation - the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (Grocery Goods Undertakings) Regulations 2016 - under which UTPs are addressed. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the independent statutory body responsible for the enforcement of competition and consumer protection law. It is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Grocery Goods Regulations, investigating complaints and, where appropriate, taking enforcement action.

The UTP Directive does not provide for a “retail regulator” as mentioned by the Deputy, but rather provides, in Article 4, that “Each Member State shall designate one or more authorities to enforce the prohibitions laid down in Article 3 at national level".

My Department and the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, in consultation with the EU Commission, will continue to work together to explore the policy, resource and operational implications of transposing and enforcing the Directive.