As of October 1, 2016 the New Act on Trading Hours in retail sale and wholesale published in the Czech Collection of Laws under No. 223/2016 Coll. became effective.

The main aim of this new act is to regulate trading hours and to set up general prohibition of trade on certain days (on public holidays) and also to restrict trade on Christmas Day (on December 24).

The new act is lex specialis in relation to the Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, as for regulation of working hours.

According to the new law the prohibition of trade will apply to the following holidays: 1.1., Easter Monday, 8.5., 28.9., 28.10., 25.12 and 26.12. On Christmas Day, shops will be closed between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. (Section 1 (1), (2)).

However, there are some exemptions from trading restriction that include: small shops that measure up to and including 200 square metres, petrol stations, pharmacies, shops at airports and railway stations, shops in hospitals or in other medical facilities, and also small and large shops during the time when a state of danger, state of emergency or state of war is declared (Section 1 (3)).

Regardless of measurement of the retail area the prohibition is applicable to pawn shops, second-hand shops and waste collection points (Section 2).

Breach of the abovementioned prohibition constitutes an administrative tort for which a financial fine up to the amount of CZK 1,000,000 may be imposed. If this administrative tort is committed repeatedly, a financial fine up to the amount of CZK 5,000,000 may be imposed (Section 3 (1) and (2)).

The new rules will be applied for the first time on October 28 (on Independent Czechoslovak State Day).

By Michaela Fuchsová & Magda Stárková