As a very important economic sector, trade accounts for almost 35% of the economy's sales revenue and employs just under 18% of the Slovenian economy's workforce, making it one of the largest employers in the national economy. In recent years, it has undergone many changes and a fundamental transformation.
Trade is the activity of implementing a commercial activity involving the purchase of goods with a purpose of resale, whether the goods are sold in an unaltered or altered (treatment, processing and finishing) state.
The systemic framework for trade was established by the adoption of the Trade Act, which ensures adequate protection of consumers, employees, the environment and the proper use of space. The Act defines the concept of trade, the manner and conditions for implementing trade activities and the exercise of control. The minimum technical conditions for the pursuit of trade activities are laid down in the Regulations.
Implementing a trade activity
A sole proprietor or a legal person wishing to implement a trade must comply with the minimum technical conditions, obtain the written consent of the owner or the authorised manager of the premises when selling outside shops, keep trade records and determine the opening hours of the shop and operate in accordance with the published hours.
A trader who sells goods outside shops by means of a travelling shop, mobile stand, vending machine, door-to-door, distance selling or market stall shall obtain the written consent of the owner or operator of the premises on which the goods are sold. The municipality shall determine the premises where goods may be sold in this way. Off-premises sales are also considered to be sales at events (fairs, rallies, etc.) where the organiser of the event may obtain written consent for all traders at the event.
Conditions for the implementation of trade activities
|Ministry of Economic Development and Technology|
Minimum technical conditions in the retail trade
The retail activity shall be implemented in the shop or in a suitably arranged area adjacent to the shop. The premises, equipment and facilities in the shop shall be suitable for the type and characteristics of the goods, the manner in which the goods are sold and the conditions laid down in the regulations. Where other activities are implemented in the shop, the area devoted to these activities must be visibly separated from the area devoted to the trade or designated as such in the internal layout of the area.
In pursuing the activity, the trader must provide a regular verification of the measurements – scales that the trader uses to determine the charges for their services.
The exterior of the shop must allow unhindered access to the entrance, a sign indicating the name and registered office of the trader and the name of the shop, if any, must be prominently displayed at the entrance to the shop, a schedule of the opening hours of the shop must be prominently displayed at the entrance to the shop, and, if the trading activity is also implemented in a suitably arranged area adjacent to the shop, unhindered movement in that area must be ensured.
Minimum technical conditions in the wholesale trade
Wholesale trade is the purchase of goods and their resale to traders and other sole traders, legal persons and other individuals who purchase them for the pursuit of their trade or profession.
A wholesaler may sell goods in a warehouse, in a wholesale market or in transit. Transit is when goods are sent directly from the supplier to the buyer, without storage at the trader who made the purchase and sale. In the case of sales in transit, the trader therefore does not need a warehouse.
Implementation of controls
The Market Inspectorate supervises the implementation of the provisions of the Trade Act. If the Market Inspectorate finds that a trader does not meet the minimum technical conditions for implementing a trade or does not keep trade records, it sets a deadline for correcting the irregularities. If a trader implements sales outside shops without the relevant written consent, the Market Inspectorate shall prohibit the trader from implementing the trade until the irregularities have been remedied. If the trader implements trading activities despite the prohibition, he is liable to a fine of between EUR 1,000 and EUR 100,000.
Prohibition of unjustified discrimination in cross-border sales
Consumers and businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, are increasingly interested in shopping across the European Union. However, according to the European Commission, traders still refuse to sell or supply to customers from another Member State without objective reason, or do not offer them the same favourable prices as they do to local customers.
As a result of the practices described above, the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2018/302 on addressing unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customer nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market, which imposes an obligation on businesses to ensure that, in cases where there are no objectively justifiable reasons for doing so, they do not prevent foreign customers from accessing and benefiting from the same offers on the same terms as domestic, local customers. In practice, this means that the seller must not:
- block or restrict consumer access, whether by technological measures or otherwise;
- redirect a consumer from one version of a website to another without the consumer's explicit consent;
- apply different general terms and conditions for access to goods or services when the consumer wants to buy goods without delivery outside the seller's service area, access an electronically provided service (e.g. cloud, data storage or web hosting) or book services received in the country where the seller operates, for example in the case of hotel accommodation, sporting events, car rental, tickets for concerts, music festivals or amusement parks, etc.
Discrimination against consumers in terms of payment methods is also prohibited. This means, for example, that a German seller who accepts a certain brand of credit card and direct bank transfers for purchases on its website cannot refuse to accept a payment made with a credit card of the same brand issued in Slovenia and a transfer via a Slovenian bank.