The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the statutory independent body responsible for the enforcement of the grocery goods regulations. Section 9 (5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 provides that the Commission is independent in the performance of its statutory functions. As investigation and enforcement matters are part of the day-to-day operational work of the Commission, I, as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, have no direct function in these matters.
Part 6, section 63 C of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 mandates the Commission to monitor the compliance of relevant grocery goods undertakings (RGGUs) with the regulations which seek to regulate certain practices in the grocery goods sector. S.I. No. 35 of 2016 entered into force on 30 April 2016. The regulations apply to relevant grocery goods undertakings with an annual worldwide turnover of greater than €50 million and they apply to written supply contracts which RGGUs have with their direct suppliers. The regulations require RGGUs to have agreed written contracts with their suppliers which include all the terms and conditions of the agreed contract, expressed in clear intelligible language and signed by both parties to the contract. The regulations specify those commercial practices which are prohibited unless the parties mutually agree them in writing in the contract. The regulations specify the ways in which RGGUs must comply with the regulations including filing their annual compliance reports and maintaining relevant documentation for examination by the CCPC for 6 years after the end of the financial year in which the grocery goods contract was signed by the parties.
Since the Regulations entered into force, the CCPC has indicated to suppliers that it is available and willing to meet with them if they have concerns about their trading relationships with RGGUs under the terms of the Regulations.
I am advised by the CCPC that to date no complaints have been received from suppliers about alleged breaches of the regulations and, consequently, the question of cases which concluded with fines issued, the amount and value of such fines or those that were collected or went uncollected does not arise.