From today, retailers can round off the amount on the receipt to 5 euro cent. It is not an obligation, but merely an option. Trade federation Comeos has already stated that supermarkets will not do it.
Only for cash payments
The Council of Ministers decided in March, after a lot of debate, to allow the option to round off. Normally, it would be introduced in June, but it has now become 1 October.
Retailers and liberal professions can round off the amount on the receipt to the nearest 0 or 5 cent. 99.98 euro can become 100 euro, while 100.02 can become 100 as well.
FPS Economy emphasizes there is no obligation to do this and that the option is restricted to the final amount on the receipt and only refers to cash payments. Meal vouchers and electronic payments are exempt.
The rule will be evaluated after two years and then it might be expanded to electronic payments as well.
"Supermarkets will not participate"
One thing is clear: supermarkets will not participate. "We have informed everyone in April that the supermarkets will not round off", Dominique Mechel (Comeos' managing director) said. Nevertheless, supermarkets wanted the rule, but "as the resigning government has decided to exclude electronic payments, supermarkets face insurmountable problems".
"They would be forced to implement 2 different cash registers, which is impossible to do. Only when rounding off applies to all payments, both cash and electronic, will we use the option to do so."
Comeos is now hoping the new government will apply the change. "The preliminary coalition agreement contains an evaluation of the rule, which would allow the expansion to all payments", Michel said. "We are counting on a quick evaluation as it will definitely show that the current implementation is a hollow one. The smallest euro cents will not disappear if supermarkets do not participate. The new government will have to adjust the rule."