28 September 2019 - The introduction of a non-working Sunday, prescribed by the Internal Trade Law, will start on 14 October, Managing Director of the Directorate for Internal Market and Competition in the Ministry of Economy, Biljana Jakić, confirmed for Dnevne Novine daily.
This means the first Sunday off for trading shops in Montenegro will be on October 20th.
“The Law Amending the Law on Internal Trade entered into force on 13 July 2019. The Law prescribes that the provision under Article 35a, which refers to a non-working Sunday, shall apply after three months from the day of entering into force. Therefore, the application of this Article starts from 14 October 2019,” Director Jakić explained.
“Considering that the law prescribed a transitional period for the application of Article 35a relating to a non-working Sunday, within three months from the date of entry into force of the law, we consider that employers have had sufficient time to organize the work process in accordance with this provision," Jakić pointed out. According to her, the Ministry of Economy is in direct communication with employers on the implementation of the new legal norm.
Montenegrin Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić previously explained that they predict that there would be no drop in turnover for traders, and that the business people believe that the daily takings will be passed over from one day to the next. However, the Montenegrin Employers Federation recently filed a law-review initiative with the Constitutional Court. The Federation believes that the law is problematic from the perspective of large and small trading systems, since the Montenegrin economy consists of 95 per cent for small and medium-sized businesses.
“We can already predict the negative effects that the adoption of the law will bring in the future, especially since we have strategically decided to make tourism our main industry. The question is whether we can afford the luxury of giving up the huge traffic that takes place on Sundays, which is affected by many tourists on the coast and in the north," the representatives of the Federation highlighted.
As of October 14, as defined by law, only pharmacies, bakeries, flower shops, souvenir shops, newsstands, shops that sell plant protection products and shops that sell funeral equipment can be open on Sundays.
Exemptions for working on Sundays are also found at gas stations, retail shops within gas stations, markets, stands, counters, showcases, mobile shops, as well as vending machines outside markets. Also, shops and vending machines located inside closed areas, buses, railway stations, airports and ports, booths and kiosks selling goods during events, festivals and events, fairs and public displays of cinematic works, as well as warehouses for wholesale trade are also an exception and can work on Sundays.
Amendments to the law stipulate that employers who violate the provision and open stores on Sundays may be fined between 1,000 and 10,000 euros.