EuroCommerce lodges formal complaint with European Commission over Loi Descrozaille

EuroCommerce, a trade body which describes itself as “the voice of Retail and Wholesale in Europe,” has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission over a law in France that limits supermarkets in their ability to discount certain consumer products.

The law, which has been dubbed Loi Descrozaille after the politician who proposed it and is set to be introduced in March 2024, is designed to “secure supplies of consumer products for people in France”. It sets a 34 per cent limit on discounts supermarkets can offer on beauty, hygiene, and care products.

Industry figures have however spent the past year condemning the law, with a joint statement from Auchan, Carrefour, the Casino group (comprising the Casino, Monoprix and Franprix banners), Cora, E.Leclerc, Intermarché, Lidl, Netto and Système U earlier this year arguing that it only serves to benefit large manufacturers and would aggravate inflation – something which has manifested over the past year, heightening tensions.

Now EuroCommerce has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission, calling on the body to “urgently take action.” The industry body argues that the law infringes on rules of free movement of goods and services within the single market.

Christel Delberghe, director general of EuroCommerce, said: "The Loi Descrozaille prevents retailers and wholesalers from seeking better sourcing conditions in the European Single Market. This in turn prevents retailers and wholesalers from providing greater choice and more affordable prices to consumers across Europe.

“We ask the European Commission to urgently address this violation of EU rules on choice of law and free movement with the French authorities."

The statement from EuroCommerce adds that Loi Descrozaille could create a dangerous precedent and reinforce the fragmentation of the Single Market which is already being imposed by some large global manufacturers using territorial supply constraints.

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