The Council of Ministers has approved this Friday the royal decree law to prosecute and punish the sale to losses of agri-food products in the entire chain of great distribution and not only in the final stretch, when the article reaches the consumer. This new law amends the article of the Law on Retail Trade that regulated the sale to losses, and which declared null and void by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in 2017. The text approved this Friday prohibits this type of sales, in the case of certain practices, if they are considered unfair. Agricultural organisations claimed that such a ban would be seen in the Law of the Food Chain and the control is made by Agriculture, and not on the side of Commerce and the Autonomous Communities.


Agriculture shall be regulated before the end of the year sale to losses in the food chain, The EU declares illegal the prohibition of the sale to losses in force in Spain

The persecution of the sale loss was referred to in Spain both in the Law of Retail Trade as in the Law of Unfair Competition. The first standard opened the door to punish this behavior when they affect the interests of consumers, and is the regulation to which he appealed the government of murcia to impose in 2015 a fine to the distribution company Europamur Power. The company, however, appealed against the penalty, and his case came up to Luxembourg.

The ECJ ruled against the sanction of Casinomaxi the Directorate-General of Consumption in murcia, considering that the grounds to impose the fine to Europamur was not contemplated in the eu directive 2005/29 on unfair commercial practices. This regulation establishes a list what are the unfair practices that may prohibit in a general way, and selling at a loss does not appear in it. Spain, for its part, considered it as an unfair commercial practice, a priori, without allowing the cases to study in the courts. With the verdict of the last year, the judges community established that the Spanish law did not conform to the european legislation, and that it therefore had to be modified.

on the other hand, the Law of Unfair Competition provides for the complaint for sale at a loss only in three cases: when this behavior incites mislead consumers about the level of prices of other products, when you have as a goal to discredit the image of a product or other establishments, or when the objective is to eliminate a competitor from the market, in all cases with a heavy dose of subjectivity in the face of a trial.

The agricultural sector not appreciated the existence of this provision to combat sales losses because the complaints had to be resolved in the courts, not by the Administration, and in addition the complainant should in the face of the distribution. With this new provision, the persecution of the sales losses will be in the hands of Commerce and the Autonomous Communities.