FAS is for equal legal status of all participants of the market ceremonial services
Assigning exclusive powers for particular types of ceremonial services to specialized funeral services will be contrary to the antimonopoly law
Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade, Yulia Yemakova, pointed out at a Conference of the Union of Funeral Organizations and Crematoriums: “The valid 1996 Federal Law on burial and funeral business has long been obsolete. Evaluating the draft law, earlier approved by FAS, without a new proposal of the Ministry of Construction announced at the Conference – on returning specialized services and assigning exclusive powers to them, one can say confidently that its implementation may solve the main issues on the market of ceremonial services, support competitive environment and ultimately reduce the costs of ceremonial services, which is one of the priorities in the industry reform”.
Important norms of the draft law include prevention of imposing ceremonial services upon the population and the ban to supply information to funeral agents about deaths by officers of medical organizations and the police. “The Ministry of Construction also has supported procompetitive norms proposed by FAS that are aimed at separating the market of ceremonial services and the markets of medical services and the services of maintaining cemeteries”, emphasized Yulia Yemakova. “Maintaining competitive advantages for one of the market players at the legislative level, however, may devaluate other provisions of the draft law and question industry development. For FAS absence of direct or indirect market entry barriers is of principal significance”.
Today the draft law suggests a much stricter norm rather than in the valid 1996 law, which mentions specialized services but does not ban directly ceremonial services, particularly, included in the guaranteed list, by other market participants. Now it is proposed that the exclusive rights for providing part of ceremonial services should be formalized legislatively. “Municipal institutions that got the status of specialized services will be considered economic entities within the meaning of the law on competition protection, since they can offer all ceremonial services, particularly, not included in the guaranteed list. The draft ban for providing ceremonial services on the guaranteed list by other economic entities – funeral services, will, encourage unreasonable advantages to specialized services on the market of funeral activities that are not on the guaranteed list and reduce the quality of services. The ban will also infringe the rights of citizens deprived of a possibility to choose an organization offering ceremonial services from the guaranteed list”, saidDeputy Head of the specialized FAS Department.
FAS will insist on returning to the competitive principles of regulating the market of ceremonial services specified in the previous draft law version: equal status and equal conditions for economic activity for all market participants and establishing an obligation for them to provide a guaranteed list of services with further compensation from the relevant budgets.