Romania’s Competition Council says retail chains could tap vehicle fuel market

Newsroom 23/02/2016 | 13:56

Romania’s Competition Council has put forth a set of measures aimed to stimulate competition on the fuel market. One of the recommendations is diversifying the fuel offer by having the biggest hyper/supermarket chains present in Romania enter the fuel market, while another refers to eliminating barriers to entry on the market by reducing the number of authorizations, according to a Council press release.

Having retail chains enter the vehicle fuel market would not be something completely new for them, as they are already commercializing fuel in other European states, such as France, Germany or Great Britain, and have an important weight in those national markets, says the Council. Furthermore, the Competition Council will undergo discussions with the companies in question to identify both blocks to their opening of gas stations but also solutions to facilitating their access to the market.

The second proposal, referring to eliminating the barriers to entry, refers to the fact that when building gas stations, the number of necessary authorizations is higher than for usual constructions. Moreover, the local public administration offices can make decisions regarding the way that land in their territories is used, leading to the “risk of excess regulation through the imposition of certain building restrictions, which would hinder or downright stop the building of gas stations in a certain area/locality,” according to the Council press release.

Additionally, the Competition Council also recommends reducing the time period for authorizing the construction of new gas stations, which would lead to a decrease in the costs of accessing the market and would increase the competition pressure on active companies.

Other recommendations include creating a data base and a web/mobile app for comparing fuel prices, the government installing information panels on the motorways that would increase transparency on the market, but also that the Ministry of Energy or the Ministry of the Economy make public the results of checks regarding fuel quality.

Andreea Tint

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