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ANPC: The investigation on fuel prices will start in the next period

5 August 2022
General Interest

An action to evaluate the way in which fuel prices have evolved in Romania will be started in the next period at the initiative of the Competition Council, said the president of the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC), Horia Constantinescu.

“Regarding the unjustified increases (for fuels, n.r.) no analysis was done. I can confirm the fact that, as early as two weeks ago, I discussed both with the representatives of the Competition Council and with those of the other structures, because, putting together the information managed by any of the institutions with financial attributions, in a complementary way, so that we can start an action to evaluate how things have happened lately. How was calculated, for example, the final price of a liter of fuel? Let’s understand whether or not the same algorithm is followed, whether or not it depends on the price of the barrel and how long does it take for the fluctuation to influence prices, in the sense of increasing or decreasing. We will have a clear calendar of meetings and, more than that, we will have a clear communication with the economic operators, to know what they will answer. Up to this moment, we have only received notifications that were not strongly related to a contravention, but more due to the misunderstanding between the consumer and the economic operator, in the sense that he did not know which price was valid – the one on the totem, the one at the pump or the one at the cash register,” said Constantinescu, according to Agerpres.

In his view, “it is clear that when there are increases in the price of the barrel in the market, this is immediately felt at the pump”, but that “the same thing does not happen when there are decreases.”

“Or, this needs to be clarified, starting from the method of calculating the price at the pump. We have situations where our attention was drawn to the fact that there are stocks at a reduced price in the depots, but also that the following will be purchased at a high price and then they are forced to increase the price… Somehow, there is this curse of the high price that we want to clarify very clearly. The initiative belongs to Mr. Bogdan Chirițoiu, at the Competition Council, to request how the price of a liter of fuel at the pump is calculated and we see each of authorities, where they respond according to their competences, what has changed and how it evolves according to the fluctuations of the barrel,” stated the head of the ANPC.

In mid-April, ANPC announced that it had imposed fines of 6,720 million lei for a number of 608 verified economic operators in the fuel distribution sector, for incorrect commercial practices.

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