Trade and Market Intelligence
The Czech Republic is a member of the World Trade Organisation and the OECD. It is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol, as well as the 2001 International Coffee Agreement.
As with all countries in the European Union the country’s customs policy promotes a liberal import system which tends to exclude, insofar as possible, the need for licences for trading goods. However, free trade does not mean fewer inspections, and certain sectors such as agriculture and textiles are subject to strict regulation.
For European Union member states trade with the Czech Republic requires an Intrastat Declaration and Entry Summary Declaration relevant to the Import Control System for EU countries. The latter is intended to increase the safety of international trade. Exchanges with other members of the EU are not taxed, while taxes on imports from non-European Union countries remain very low (3 / 4%).
Czech distribution is now similar to that of the Western European countries having undergone a profound transformation, abandoning small local shops in favour of large chains of supermarkets. The complete market domination by German, British and Austrian companies is evidence of this, with Czech brands for the most part, having disappeared. Groups such as Tesco, Ahold, Kaufland, Metro, Rewe and Lidl are now found throughout the country.
The transport of goods in the Czech Republic is limited to land and rail. The country has no sea or river access, although air transport is increasing. In terms of industry the automotive and electronics sectors are the driving economic forces of the country.
Employment Legislation in the Czech Republic
The legal working week in the Czech Republic is limited to 40 hours with a minimum monthly salary of 8,000 CZK. The retirement age is 63 for men and 62 for women. Employers pay social security contributions at a rate of approximately 35% and employees contribute 12.5%.
11% of employees are union members and the country’s most powerful union is the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS).
Intellectual Property Regime in the Czech Republic
|Type of rights||Legislation||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||527/1990 Law on inventions and rationalization proposals||20 years||– Patent Cooperation Treaty
– Strasbourg Agreement Concerning International Patent Classification
|Trademarks||441/2003 Law on trademarks||10 years||– Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services
– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
|Designs||207/2000 Law on the protection of industrial design||25 years|
|Copyright||121/2000 Law on copyright||70 years after the author’s death|
|Industrial designs||478/1992 Law on utility models||4 years|
Czech Republic Political Data
The President (Miloš Zeman) is chosen by Parliament for a five year term, and has restricted powers. It is the President who appoints the Prime Minister (Bohuslav Sobotka) who in fact exercises executive power. The legislature consists of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
The Czech Republic has several political parties, such as the Czech Social Democratic Party, the Civic Democratic Party, the Communist Party, the Christian Democratic Union and the Green Party.