Consumer protection

Updated: 17.03.2011

Adoption of the euro will not entail a major price rise

The experience of the euro area indicates that the introduction of the euro will not lead to a major price hike. The effects of the changeover have remained short-lived and in the range of 0.1–0.3 percentage points.

The state has taken several steps to reduce price rise pressures, for example the government has published precise rules for the recalculation of prices and retailers will be obliged to publish the prices of goods in euros as well as kroons well before the adoption of the euro. The aim is to give people the time to get used to the euro as a currency and to avoid any misunderstandings that may occur due to changes in the numerical values of the prices.

 

Government taxes, charges, fees and social benefits will be rounded towards a more favourable value for the individual.

In order to avoid any additional inflationary stress on prices, the government has set a policy of rounding the sums of state taxes, payments and fees in the direction that gives more favourable value for taxpayers and recipients of state benefits. This creates a favourable background for avoiding price gouging as the state will set an example to traders to inspire them to follow good practice in converting prices from kroons to euros.

In addition, the price level will be regularly monitored before and after the changeover and the resulting price comparisons will be made public. The monitoring of price levels aims to inform the public of any price changes and to restrain businesses.

 

What can the state do to prevent price hikes?

The rules for rounding and recalculating prices have been laid down in a regulation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Rounding must be done with a minimum accuracy of one euro cent. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has drawn up guidelines for the dual display of prices.

Price changes will be monitored before and after the changeover to the euro. The public will be informed of the changes through the press. Voluntary consumer protection associations, the Consumer Protection Board, and the Estonian Institute of Economic Research will be involved in the price monitoring process.

Price comparisons cover the most frequently consumed food products, cheaper commodities and the most popular services.

If the displayed prices do not use the official exchange rate, the trader should be notified immediately and the problem should be settled locally. You are entitled to demand the right to pay for purchases at the official rate. You can also notify the Consumer Protection Board about the problem by calling 1330 or 6201707.