651 violations, 254 of which are unfair trade practices, have been found by the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) during 755 inspections in commercial food chains.

These latest data were reported by Angel Dzhalev from the Commission, quoted by BNR. He emphasized that the inspections are focused on the large food chains because the majority of people shop at them. Most often, the violations are related to a discrepancy between the price on the label and the cash register and a difference in the declared weight, Dzhalev said.

According to him, there is an “unpleasant and extremely worrying trend” in unfair trade practices:

“Perhaps the problem has been neglected and accumulated in the market. It should be given special attention because this problem distorts the whole market. The application of unfair trade practices by large traders forces small traders to apply the same practices as well, which is extremely greatly distorts the market and is a prerequisite for the artificial increase of the price, since the goods are given qualities that they do not possess and are thus sold at an inflated price that does not correspond to the quality”.

At the moment, the maximum amount of sanction for unfair commercial practice has not been imposed, Dzhalev said and specified that the inspection campaign has started recently:

“It is good to think about increasing the sanctions, since the European practice is that the sanction is a percentage of the turnover of the specific trader, and not like in our country – from BGN 5 to 50 thousand. If the sanctions are increased, there will be a deterrent and educational effect”.

“The tendency for a large increase in the price along the chain from producer to consumer is worrying, which is not justified by economic or inflationary processes,” he also emphasized.