After Estonia’s accession to the euro area and adoption of the euro, price formation will remain unrestricted (except for prices, which are subject to special approval, such as electricity, water, etc.). However, the display of prices to the clients is regulated by legislation and these requirements shall be observed.
Display of prices in two currencies will become mandatory six months before the €-Day.
The principles for dual display of prices are established by the regulation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. In order to give the consumers an opportunity to get used to the prices in the new currency, dual display of the prices of goods and services will be mandatory from 1 July 2010 until six months after accession to the euro area. The rounding rule shall be observed when converting the prices.
Prices must be displayed clearly and understandably.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonian Traders Association and Consumer Protection Board are compiling a guideline for the dual display of prices, based on the following general principles:
• The price must be displayed to the consumer in an unambiguous and understandable manner; prices should be easily noticeable and clearly legible;
• The price of a good or service must be displayed in two currencies in the POS and in other places where the display of prices is required;
• It is recommended to design price tags so that the prices in kroons and in euros are more or less of the same size and easily noticeable. In this case, there is no need to change the tags immediately after the € Day.
Adoption of the euro shall not entail a hidden price rise.
The fact that consumers are sensitive to hidden price hikes shall be taken into account in price formation. During the euro changeover period (six months before the €-Day and six month after the €-Day), the prices of goods and services are under special scrutiny of the consumers. Monitoring the prices and publishing the results is one of the activities of the CPB before and after accession of Estonia to the euro zone.
Fair price formation creates a competitive advantage
Upon recommendation of the European Commission and under the management of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an agreement regarding fair price formation is being prepared and it is open to all entrepreneurs to join.
Entrepreneurs, who voluntarily join the agreement, make a commitment that they will observe the good practice and will not raise prices unreasonably after the euro changeover. For consumers, this is an indication of fair and responsible conduct. The businesses joining the agreement will be granted the right to use a sticker with the respective logo. The CPB and professional associations of businesses will monitor the fair use of the sticker. Detailed information regarding the fair price formation agreement is available at the web site of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, www.koda.ee.