Citizens of BiH started paying much higher fuel prices from February 1, 2018, as a result of the adoption of the amendment to the set of excise laws, which was adopted in the Parliament of BiH.
However, according to the research of BH portal Faktor, instead of the price increase of about 15 fenings, which has been previously announced, a much higher fuel price increase hit our country. For example, large oil companies in Sarajevo, whether incidentally or planned, established identical prices of diesel and gas on the same locations.
Economic analyst Zlatko Hurtic said that authorities in BiH cannot determine fuel prices on the gas stations because our legislation does not allow it, just as European standards.
“But the thing that our legislation allows is the prevention of monopoly. There are indications that there has been an illegal agreement among distributors, which violates the provision of the Law on Competition in BiH, and that requires an investigation. Not only the price but the way the price was formed. The Council of Competition of BiH should investigate this, and this initiative should be legally submitted to the Government of FBiH, because it is obvious that the increase of excises has been exploited with the aim to gain some profit that can be result of an agreement. That is the only tool left,” said Hurtic.
The Law on Petroleum Products in FBiH, in Article 26, provides another additional possibility for the authorities in the FBiH to influence the ” oil tycoons”.
“Prices of oil products are formed in accordance with market conditions. In case of a large disturbances in the market of oil products in the FBiH or in case of some serious disruption in the supply, the Government might adopt the method of determining the highest price of certain oil products at the proposal of the Ministry of Trade of the FBiH. The calculation from the paragraph 2 of this Article is established on measurable market elements, and it includes the following: the price of petroleum products on the market, exchange rate, customs, costs of primary storage and distribution, excises and other indirect taxes,” as stated in the law.
Whether the Ministry of Trade of the FBiH and the Council of Competition of BiH will use its powers on this matter is yet to be seen.