Law on electronic cash registers may impact services at summer music festivals

The law on electronic cash registers which is being introduced in several phases is likely to cause problems at upcoming summer music festivals. Many stall-owners who previous provided refreshments at these events are concerned about reprisals and are seeking ways to avoid having to issue receipts, while others have cancelled attendance. The organizers say they fear long queues and poor service.

Illustrative photo: Pavel NovákIllustrative photo: Pavel Novák Refreshment stalls selling fast food, cold drinks and ice-cream are an indelible part of summer music festivals. Now stall owners are scrambling to avoid problems over the lack of electronic cash registers and setting down new sales conditions at these festivals. Many refuse to bring out plastic tables and chairs because this would automatically put them in the category of services for which electronic cash registers are already compulsory. In other words they will serve festival goers, but people will have to eat their food standing or else sit on the grass. Others will be selling bottled drinks but customers will not be able to buy them to take away. The drinks need to be served in plastic cups with a straw – the sale of goods for immediate consumption does not require electronic cash registers for the present time.

Stall owners selling packaged food and drinks, beer in cans and bottles, T-shirts with the festival logo or CDs will need to issue electronic receipts for the goods and there is concern that given the venues of these events there may be problems with a stable Internet signal and frequent power fall-outs due to overburdened generators. The organizers fear that the process of issuing of receipts alone may lengthen the queues at refreshment stalls resulting in unhappy and disgruntled festival goers.

The Finance Ministry, which introduced the legislation, says there is no reason to fear complications. They say that in the event of power problems salespeople will simply be expected to issue receipts off-line and then report the respective transactions to the financial office within five days.

Their assurances have done little to dispel concerns and the organizers of music festivals out in the open have appealed for patience and are struggling to deal with the challenge as best as they can.