In a development that is expected to fuel activity and bring order to Bulgaria’s oil industry, lawmakers just filed the draft bill for “Administrative Regulation of Economic Activities, Related to Oil and Oil Products” with the Bulgarian Parliament for review and a later vote.
When passed, this will be the first law regulating oil-related economic activities in Bulgaria since the fall of communism in 1989.
The bill’s objectives are to identify the economic operators in the market, and establish regulatory control over them vis-à-vis their obligations to the state.
The bill requires that all oil and oil-product wholesalers and retailers be listed in a special publicly accessible registry to be maintained by the Minister of Economy.
All oil and oil-product companies involved in the following activities must register:
- Wholesale and retail
- Storage, outside of tax storage
- Transportation, and
- Bottling of liquefied oil gas (LPG), outside of tax storage, and the distribution of liquefied oil gas.
The bill will not apply to businesses involved in prospecting, exploration, and oil and gas production.
In order to be registered, companies must meet basic requirements in the following areas: minimum storage availability for tax storage, and other storage; providing security for obligation performance under the bill; and the qualification and good-standing of both the company and its management.
Registration will be a must for companies wishing to do business in Bulgaria. According to the bill, any companies that attempt operation without being registered will be closed and fined up to BGN 250,000 (EUR 125,000).
All interested parties can submit opinions about the bill to parliament during its review.
The bill and a summary of its objectives can be viewed at the following link: http://www.parliament.bg/bills/44/854-01-16.pdf?bcsi_scan_101f9ca0b77a944d=0&bcsi_scan_filename=854-01-16.pdf
For more information on this bill and how it could change the Bulgarian oil industry, please contact Denitsa Dudevska and Zornitsa Stoykova.