The Minister for the Economy, Kris Peeters (Flemish Christian Democrats), is drafting a bill setting out that all cash payments for retail purchases should be rounded up or down as applicable. His spokeswoman stated this on Tuesday.
The bill is a reaction to the plea from Unizo, the association of Flemish independent shopkeepers, so that till receipts are compulsorily rounded to the nearest five cents in cases where two decimal places apply. The aim is to end the use of one and two cent coins.
The minister’s spokeswoman says that the bill should go before parliament after the summer recess. She goes on, “Given that there is a consensus between Unizo, Comeos (which represents retail and services in Belgium) and UCM (which represents the self-employed and businesses) for this rounding system, the minister is now preparing the draft bill.”
On Monday, the press reported the risk of a shortage of one and two cent coins in some shops. Since 2014, shopkeepers have had the possibility of rounding customer purchases to the nearest five cents. Unizo says that few have put this into practice, fearing a negative customer reaction. The organization argues that a legal obligation for such rounding will consequently make such retail systems easier to operate.
The Brussels Times