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Saturday 24.03.2018 | Name days: Kazimirs, Izidors

LTA: state institution intentionally secured monopoly for private company

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Traders Association has turned to the Competition Council with a request to evaluate the situation that formed when the State Revenue Service intentionally used amendments to regulations to create a monopoly state for Computer Hardware Design, providing the company with the opportunity to gain significant profits while also excluding other companies from competition on the cash registers market, LTA reports.

«Only at the end of April, four whole months after businesses should have started using cash registered compliant with new requirements, did SRS register the first new cash register models – CHF 3050, CHD 3050U, CHD 2050 and CHD 7,» LTA representatives explain the situation.

They say all four cash register models are offered by one company – Computer Hardware Design. «Under such clear monopolistic conditions, SRS decided to submit for approval amendments to Cab. Req. No. 96, which were expanded with Section 141.8, the sub-section of which states that old generation cash registers (if a businessmen has no more than 100 such units) can be used for no more than one month after receiving certificate of compliance,» LTA continues.

The association notes that on the next day after amending the aforementioned requirements, SRS released a notification to its clients through EDS that businessmen have one month after receiving this notification to either perform adaptation of their existing cash registers to new requirements or replace them by purchasing one of the newly registered models.

«Because no service offers the option to adapt existing cash registers to new requirements, businessmen are forced to buy new cash registers from Computer Hardware Design. This also applies to companies that had procured new cash registers in the first four months of the year and have only used them for a very short time before SRS decided to come up with new requirements.»

The price of new cash register models is close to EUR 400. For example, a new CHD 7 model costs EUR 377 without installation costs. «Businessmen have received notifications from SRS and are shocked,» LTA adds.

LTA president Henriks Danusevics: «If the free market cannot be destroyed, the country’s administrative requirements can destroy business. Even if businessmen are able to exist and work within private competition conditions can no longer tolerate the rising administrative repressions.»

LTA notes that SRS’ requirements to change cash registers will destroy small businesses. «One example is the Riga Book Antiquary, which existed since 1949. This book store was known for its cultural value. Now this store is at risk. This company has also received a letter from SRS, requesting a change of cash registers. The book store does not have the money to afford any of the new models.»

The owner of the antique book store also expresses concerns: «The question is – how many small businesses will be ruined by this? Our annual turnover is EUR 18,500. We have only three employees. It is somewhat offensive the way all this is presented by the state. There are also no guidelines as to what we should do with old cash registers. But there will be thousands of them. Selling them would at least secure some tax returns. We feel like this decision has been made without taking into account practical recommendations and common sense. The state should have thought about procedures for replacement of cash registers. It is also a good question as to how older people will adapt to work with new devices. It is likely many people will lose their jobs.»

LTA emphasizes that by submitting amendments to regulations to the government for approval, SRS ensures the monopoly of a single company. «This will create a situation when it becomes pointless for other companies to enter the cash register market, considering the one-month term for the replacement of old cash registers.»

The association considers asking Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola to step down, as well as fire the management of SRS.


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