Policy in the spheres of natural monopolies
State regulation in the spheres of natural monopolies is carried out in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus of December 16, 2002 "On Natural Monopolies".
A natural monopoly is a state of the services market in which the creation of competitive conditions to meet the demand for a certain type of services is impossible or economically impractical due to technological features of production and the provision of this type of services.
The subject of natural monopoly is an economic entity that provides services related to the sphere of natural monopolies.
The sphere of natural monopolies is the sphere of supply of services, legally referred to a natural monopoly, in which the consumer can purchase such services.
State regulation of the activities of natural monopoly entities is carried out on the basis of the following principles:
- publicity, openness, continuity, objectivity and transparency of the application of state regulation procedures, independence of decisions;
- targeting state regulation, its focus on a specific subject of natural monopoly;
- ensuring the protection of consumers' rights, including various violations by natural monopoly entities associated with the application of prices (tariffs);
- compliance with the balance of interests of consumers and natural monopoly entities ensuring the availability of services provided, the appropriate level of their quality for consumers, the effective functioning and development of subjects of natural monopolies;
- increasing the effectiveness of state regulation aimed at reducing the scope of natural monopolies by creating conditions for the development of competition in these areas;
- the application of flexible regulation of prices (tariffs) in the spheres of natural monopolies, taking into account, among other things, sectoral features, the scale of activity of natural monopoly entities, market conditions, medium-term (long-term) state, sectoral and regional programs;
- the introduction of state regulation in cases where, on the basis of an analysis of the relevant services market, it is established that this market is in a state of natural monopoly;
- reducing barriers to access to service markets and providing access to services related to natural monopolies;
- the obligatory nature of the conclusion by natural monopoly entities of contracts with consumers for the provision of services for which state regulation is applied, provided that it is technically possible to provide such services;
- ensuring compliance by the subjects of natural monopolies with the rules for ensuring consumers' access to services related to natural monopolies and the terms of connection (connection, use) to them;
- ensuring compliance of the established prices (tariffs) with the quality of services related to the sphere of natural monopolies that are subject to state regulation
- creating economic conditions in which it is beneficial for natural monopoly entities to reduce costs, introduce new technologies, and improve the efficiency of investments.
The spheres of natural monopolies are:
- transportation of oil and oil products through main pipelines;
- transportation of gas through main and distribution pipelines;
- transmission and distribution of electricity and heat;
- centralized water supply and sanitation;
- public telecommunication services and postal services;
- public railway transport services provided with the use of public transport infrastructure, rail transport;
- transport terminals and airports;
- aeronautical services.
State regulation of activity of subjects of natural monopolies is carried out in the following ways:
- regulation of prices (tariffs) for services related to the sphere of natural monopolies;
- definition of the categories of consumers subject to obligatory servicing by subjects of natural monopolies, and (or) establishing a minimum level of providing their services related to the sphere of natural monopolies in case of impossibility to fully satisfy the needs for these services;
- regulation of access to services related to natural monopolies, including the establishment of charges for connection (connection, use) in such cases or in the methodology for determining such services in cases provided for by law.