Archive for May, 2005

The President Vetoed the Amendments to the Excise Duty Act

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria issued a Decree on veto of the amendments to the Excise Duty Act adopted by the Parliament on May 17, 2005. In performance of his constitutional powers, the President has returned the Law on the amendments and supplements to the Excise Duty Act to the Parliament. According to the reasoning of the Decree, the President disagrees with the texts in the law (adopted upon proposal of a group of MPs between the two readings of the draft law) stipulating for a revocation of the excise duty rates applicable to coffee imports and considers them contradictory to the basic principles of the State Budget Structure Act because they would have become effective in the course of the current year and hence are not reflected in the effective State Budget Act. Pursuant to the Constitution of Bulgaria, the Parliament is empowered to pass the vetoed law with a majority voting of more than 1/2 of all MPs, i.e. 121 MPs. In this case it will be necessary for the Parliament to be especially convened because it is currently on vacation due to the pending pre-elections campaign for the general parliamentary elections scheduled for June 25.

Plans for Reform of the Commercial Registers

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

The Government approved a strategy for reform of the existing commercial, tax, social security and national statistics (BULSTAT) registration regimes in Bulgaria. It is planned that companies’ registration will be removed from the court. Companies that do not take measures for re-registration within two years will be automatically deleted from the registers. The replacement of the court commercial registration with an administrative one will facilitate the access to information about legal entities in the opinion of the Minister of Justice, Mr. Anton Stankov. The funding for the reforms has been secured as part of the USD 150 million PAL 3 loan from the World Bank.

As of August 10, 2005, the mandatory registration of the companies with the tax administration, the national social security authorities and the customs (for companies carrying out export-import activity) shall cease to exist. According to the Executive Director of the Registrations Agency the company case number and the registration with the national statistics (BULSTAT) will be sufficient with respect to all the above authorities. It is expected that as a result of the introduction of the new regime, the time for registration procedures will be reduced from the current 30-35 days to a week or two. Upon the accession of Bulgaria in the European Union, the two companies’ registers, i.e. with the 28 district courts and with BULSTAT, will be merged into a single register.

Product Liability 2005

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Pages from prod liab 2005

This article appeared in the 3rd edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Product Liability 2005, published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London (www.iclg.co.uk).

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The Bulgarian Parliament Ratified the EU Accession Treaty

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

The Parliament of Bulgaria ratified the Accession Treaty to the European Union signed on behalf of Bulgaria by the Bulgarian President and the Prime Minister on April 25, 2005 in Luxembourg. The Accession Treaty stipulates that the entry of this country into the EU is due to take place on January 1, 2007 or January 1, 2008, at the latest, in case Bulgaria fails to perform certain obligations stemming from the accession. It is also stated that Bulgaria shall have 18 seats at the European Parliament until the end of its current term in 2009, and 10 votes in the Council of Ministers.

Russian RAO UES of Russia Named as a Winner of the Privatisation Tender for Rousse and Varna Thermal Power Plants

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

On May 9, 2005, the Privatisation Agency named the Russian state-owned holding company OAO RAO “Unified Energy System of Russia” (“UES”), the largest power holding in the Russian Federation, as a winner of the privatization tenders for the thermal power plants in Rousse and Varna. UES offered over €198,900,000 for 51 percent of the share capital of TPP Varna, i.e. €680.85 per share, and over €61,198,000 for 51 percent of the share capital of TPP Rousse, i.e. €24.93 per share. The two privatization deals are subject to further approval by the Supervisory Board of the Privatisation Agency.

Borislav Boyanov & Co. advised one of the candidates for acquisition of the two power plants at an earlier stage of the privatization competition.