Christmas carp exempt from EET

The electronic registry devices likely wouldn't work in the wet conditions

Vendors selling fresh carp on the street before Christmas won't need to use the follow the electronic sales records (EET) law and can sell carp without having to instantly register the transaction.

The exemption is due to the complications of trying to operate the electronic equipment in the cold weather among the vats of fish and wet countertops.

A temporary exemption has also been made for deaf and blind entrepreneurs, also due to the difficulty of operating the equipment as they need special devices that is not readily available.

The EET law has been quite controversial, and people have been pushing for exemptions in cases where it has been putting forcing people out of business. The government, however, has been reluctant to create exemptions as the purpose of the law is to crack down on the gray economy where sales go unregistered and no taxes are paid.

The temporary exemption for carp sellers will be in effect from Dec. 14 to 24 and will be valid into 2019 when a permanent exemption should be passed.

The exemption is only for sellers of carp. It does not extend to stalls in holiday markets, sellers of mulled wine or sellers of roasted chestnuts.

The Czech Fishing Association (RS) had warned that without the exemption a lot of vendors would not be able to operate, and the traditional Christmas meal would be threatened.

Jan Hůda, president of the Czech Fishing Association, welcomed the exemption.“We are happy that this is the case and that the sale of carp will take place in a standard way,” he said, according to daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD).

Hůda also said that people shop for carp at the last minute and having to use the EET equipment would only make the lines much longer.

Carp is usually served for dinner Dec. 24, which is when Christmas is celebrated in the Czech Republic. It is typically fried and served with potato salad. Presents are also exchanged Dec. 24 in the evening.

Vendors appear on street corners with vats of live fish and butcher them on the spot. Fish can also be sold live so they can be butchered at home, but this is getting less common.

The vendors' stalls are typically small and covered in water and blood from the fish. Vendors work with rubber gloves for hygiene reasons and to protect their hands from the cold water and freezing weather. Operating the EET equipment in the wet conditions would be very difficult and require the vendor to constantly remove his or her gloves. If water got into the EET device, it would likely malfunction.

Fresh carp are sold every year in the Czech Republic at 2,500 places, according to MfD.

Another exemption was made for entrepreneurs with visual or auditory impairments. These vendors require special equipment such as voice recognition or braille inputs to operate the device. These adaptations are not readily available.

“The EET exemptions for disabled people such as pianists or masseurs were discussed by the government in my proposal, as EET would prevent them from doing business,” Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (ČSSD) said, according to daily Mladá fronta Dnes.

He added that this affected some 3,000 people and it should only be temporary until new equipment is available for disabled entrepreneurs.

The EET law requires all sales to be registered instantly with the Financial Administration of the Czech Republic. A special tax number is issued by the ministry for each transaction and sent back to the vendor to be printed on the receipt. The law took effect in April 2016 and originally affected restaurants, pubs, and accommodations. .It has since been phased in to cover virtually all cash transactions.

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