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Cyprus

Government introduces bill to regulate potable water prices

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The government on Thursday submitted a bill aiming to set a ceiling on the price of potable water at points of sale where inadequate price competition exists.

The proposed legislation gives the minister of industry the power to fix maximum prices on certain retail goods.

The price ceiling for water will apply to spaces like airports, harbours, sports venues, beaches, archaeological sites, museums, healthcare facilities, theatres, cinemas, theme parks and zoos.

Its stated aim is to protect consumers, especially at a time of difficult economic circumstances.

The bill specifies that the price cap applies only to self-service. The maximum price will be determined after a market survey that will factor in, among other things, the cost of production/import, a reasonable amount for operating costs, and a reasonable profit margin for the seller.

Products for which the minister may set a price ceiling are bottled water – in 500ml or 750ml containers.

In the event a seller breaks the law, the consumer protection service has the authority to impose an administrative fine of up to €10,000.

If the violation persists, authorities may impose a fine of €1,000 per each continued day of violation.

Fines will be payable at once. Payment of the fine will not be suspended should the decision of the consumer protection service be challenged at the administrative court.

If a violator fails to pay the fine, the ministry will take legal action and recoup the amount as civil debt owed to the state.

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