Mandatory paper receipts returning

Dimly lit self-checkout row at a Ljubljana department store.
Self-checkout row at a Ljubljana department store. Photo: NIk Jevšnik/STA

Retail businesses in Slovenia must again give out a receipt for goods or services to customers, who have to accept it after this was required only at the customer’s request for more than a year.

The old system, which had been in force from January 2016 to January 2022, is being restored after the National Assembly on 22 March overrode an upper chamber veto on the reintroduction of the receipts, which can be issued in either paper or electronic form.

The latter is actually being promoted by the government with Finance Minister State Secretary Tilen Božič noting that receipts could be sent through mobile apps, e-mail or in any other way.

The Finance Ministry stresses that e-receipts can be used the same way as paper receipts in case of product return or warranty while business and customers thus contribute to environment protection.

Božič told MPs that in the year when giving out receipts was not required, there was a rise in the grey economy. In some branches the number of receipts issued dropped notably last year, even by 20% compared to 2019.

Data by the Financial Administration (FURS) show that despite a lively economic activity almost 9% fewer receipts were issued overall last year than in the pre-covid 2019, which is more relevant for comparisons because of the pandemic.

Buyers must accept the receipt and hold on to it when leaving the shop or face a fine of €40. Businesses not issuing a receipt can be slapped with a fine of €1,500-75,00.

The National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, considers this unacceptable. Shifting the responsibility for receipts to the customer with the threat of a fine is not the way to go, argued councillor Leopold Pogačar during the debate in parliament, saying that businesses should be monitored by inspectors rather than buyers.

But Božič stressed that a fine would be the measure of last resort in case of repeated violations.