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»BULGARIA NOW ISSUES START-UP VISA FOR FOREIGN ENTREPRENEURS
By Decree No. 318 of 7 October 2022 the Council of Ministers adopted the Ordinance on the Conditions and Procedures for Issuing, Extending and Revoking a Certificate for a High Technology and/or Innovative Project called the “Start-up Visa”. A Start-up Visa is a certificate for a high-tech and or innovative project issued by the Ministry of Innovation and Growth, on the basis of which foreign entrepreneurs in the field of high-tech and innovation can obtain residence permit in Bulgaria. The possibility of obtaining a residence permit in Bulgaria on the basis of Start-up Visa was introduced as early as 2021, but until now the rules under which this new type of visa would be issued were not established and this possibility could not be used in practice. You can read more about the rules for issuing a Start-up Visa here.

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»AMENDMENTS IN THE LABOR LEGISLATION REGARDING ON-DUTY, ON-CALL TIME AND PATERNITY LEAVE
By Decree No. 289 of 27 September 2022 of the Council of Ministers, amendments were adopted to the Ordinance on working hours, rests and leaves and to the Ordinance on the cash benefits and benefits from the state social insurance, regulating the matters of on-duty, on-call time and paternity leave. The amendments specify the current regulations of the mentioned labor law institutes and introduce some new requirements for the employers, which we will outline briefly in the present publication.

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»THE DEADLINE FOR THE RE-REGISTRATION OF NON-PROFIT LEGAL ENTITIES IS APPROACHING – 31 DECEMBER 2022
We remind you that the deadline for non-profit legal entities, which are registered in the register of non-profit legal entities at the district courts, to be re-registered in the Commercial Register and the Register of NPLE is approaching – this is 31 December 2022. Find out more about the re-registration procedure in our short message.

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»NEW EU ROAMING RULES: “ROAMING LIKE AT HOME” FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS
On 1 July 2022, Regulation (EU) 2022/612 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 April 2022 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union (the Regulation) entered into force. It will extend by 10 years the current rules, called “Roaming as at home”, which expire in 2022. In this article we will briefly review the new rules for roaming services in the EU.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE LABOUR CODE – NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS AND NEW RIGHTS FOR EMPLOYEES
In No. 62 of the State Gazette dated 5 August 2022 was promulgated the Act Amending and Supplementing the Labour Code, which introduces a number of amendments establishing new obligations for employers when concluding an employment contract, new possibilities for amending the employment relationship, new rights for employees related to working hours, the type of employment contract, and the reconciliation of work and family obligations. This article discusses the main amendments.

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»PROPOSAL FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW TYPE OF COMMERCIAL COMPANY – A COMPANY WITH VARIABLE CAPITAL
On 15.06.2022, a bill amending and supplementing the Commercial Act was submitted to the National Assembly, which provided for the creation of a new type of commercial company - a company with variable capital. The introduction of this new legal form is aimed primarily at innovative start-up companies (“start-up companies”), with the aim of creating a legal framework tailored to the specifics of these companies and allowing them greater flexibility and accessibility in their creation and management and opportunities to attract investments. In this material, we will briefly consider the specifics of this new legal form of a commercial company, notwithstanding that, given the dissolution of the National Assembly, it will be necessary to re-introduce the bill for consideration by the next National Assembly.

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»TRANSACTIONS WITH FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
In a series of brief materials (the first of which is this one) we intend to address some legal issues related to investing. We believe that this would be useful to the retail investors – mainly individuals who invest or would like to start investing without this being their main activity. We shall start with a brief review of some issues concerning transactions with financial instruments and the way they shall take place. The reason for this is that in the recent years, in addition to the usual practice of investing in real estate properties (as an alternative to bank deposits), investments in financial instruments have become increasingly popular.

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»THE EUROPEAN UNION ADOPTED THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE RECOGNITION OF JUDGMENTS
On 12 July 2022, Council Decision (EU) 2022/1206 on the accession of the European Union to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil or Commercial Matters was published in the Official Journal of the EU. More information can be found in this material.

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»NEW LAW AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES ACT
In the State Gazette No. 42/7.6.2022 the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (LAS RESA) was promulgated. More information can be found in this material.

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»NEW AMENDMENTS TO THE ELECTORNIC GOVERNMENT ACT WILL MAKE THE USE OF ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES EASIER
On 10 June 2022, an Act Amending and Supplementing the Electronic Government Act was published on the Portal for public consultations of the Council of Ministersл The proposal for amendment of the EGA was presented by the Ministry of e-Government and contains amendments for reducing the administrative burden for citizens and business in the use of administrative services. Learn more about the amendments from our brief article.

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»OBLIGATION TO REGISTER OF PERSONS PLACING CERTAIN SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET
As of 01.09.2022, persons placing on the market single-use plastic products (SUPP) under Annex 1, Part E of the SUPP Ordinance and fishing gear containing plastic are required to register in the public register maintained by the Executive Environmental Agency.

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»TRANSPOSITION OF THE WHISTLEBLOWING DIRECTIVE IN THE BULGARIAN LEGISLATION
On 21 April 2022, a draft Law on the Protection of Persons Reporting or Publicly Disclosing Information on Breaches was published on the portal of the Council of Ministers for Public Consultations, which transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law. This article will discuss some key provisions of the Draft bill.

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»THE MEASURE 60/40 IS EXTENDED UNTIL 30 JUNE 2022
In issue 27 of 5 April 2022 of the State Gazette Decree No 40 of 31 March 2022 was promulgated amending Decree No 151 of Council of Ministers of 3 July 2020 determining the conditions and procedures for payment of funds for preservation of the employment after the period of the state of emergency declared by the Decision of the National Assembly of 13 March 2020 and the epidemic emergency situation declared by Decision No 325 and extended by Decision No 378 of the Council of Ministers of 2020. In our short publication on the issue you will learn what amendments have been made.

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»THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REPEALED THE MORATORIUM ON THE ACQUISITION THROUGH PRESCRIPTIONOF STATE AND MUNICIPAL PROPERTIES
On 24 February 2022 the Constitutional Court issued a decision repealing the long-standing moratorium on the acquisition of state and municipal property by prescription. In this article we will briefly review the main points of the decision and the reasons for its adoption.

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»CHANGE IN THE PRACTICE OF THE CRIMINAL COURTS ON THE PROVISION OF LOANS WITH OWN FUNDS WITHOUT PERMISSION
The practice of the criminal courts on the application of Art. 252, Para. 1 and 2 of the Penal Code is very important upon the provision of loans with own funds without registration of the lender as financial institution. Currently there are some important changes in this regard. What are they and what are they related to?

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»ARE WE PREPARED FOR AN INSPECTION BY THE LABOR INSPECTORATE REGARDING THE REMOTE WORK
In the recent weeks, there has been a growing public еcho on the information that the Executive Agency of the General Labor Inspectorate intends to start inspections for compliance with the rules for the remote work through innovative control method. It is envisaged that employers shall identify gaps in the application of the legislation through self-monitoring questionnaires. Prior to the on-site inspection, employers would have had the time and opportunity to eliminate inconsistencies with the law. In this article we will briefly recall the main obligations of employers in establishing a regime of remote work, so that you are prepared for a possible inspection.

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»NEW OBLIGATION OF PUBLIC COMPANIES – TO CALCULATE THEIR COSTS FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE OBJECTIVES
The Taxonomy Regulation, adopted by the European parliament and the Council of the EU in the mid-2020 imposes an obligation on public companies with more than 500 employees to calculate and communicate to their investors how much of their revenue, capital and operating costs come from or go to activities that the EU defines as “green”. The regulation was adopted in the context of the transition to a safe, climate-neutral, climate-resilient, more resource-efficient and circular economy, which the EU considers crucial to ensure the long-term competitiveness of its economy. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY 2022
Decree No. 482/ 30.12.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 1 dated 4 January 2022. The 60/40 measure (which can now also be in some cases a 50/50 measure) has been prolonged with another new two months – from 1 January 2022 until 28 February 2022. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»NEW INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF SCC REGARDING THE INITIAL MOMENT OF THE TWO-WEEK TERM FOR REPORTING TO WORK OF THE EMPLOYEE UPON REINSTATEMENT TO WORK BY THE COURT
On 2 December 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil Division of the Supreme Court of Cassation has adopted Interpretative Decision No. 3/ 2019 under Interpretative Case No. 3/ 2019. With the latter decision, the court answers the question of when does the two-week term for reporting to work following reinstatement to previous job begins to run – at the moment of reception of an explicit message from the court of first instance which has adjudicated the case or at the moment of acknowledgement of the effective court decision for reinstatement to previous job, which does not include a message for reporting to work in a certain term. Learn more about the court’s justification and conclusion from our brief article on the matter.

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»ON 4 JANUARY 2022 THE SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS WILL RECEIVE A NEW UNIFIED IDENTIFICATION CODE UNDER THE BULSTAT REGISTER
On 4 January 2022, the amendments to the BULSTAT Register Act will enter into force, as per which the unified identification code of self-employed natural persons and craftsmen will be transformed from 10-digit to 9-digit and registration of these categories of persons will be registered with a 9-digit UIC from then on. These amendments are introduced with regard to the protection of personal data of natural persons and the compliance with GDPR. As a result of these amendments, the self-employed persons and craftsmen will obtain new 9-digit unified identification codes. This article will briefly review these changes.

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»EDPB GUIDELINES ON RESTRICTIONS OF DATA SUBJECTS’ RIGHTS
During the 43rd plenary session of the European Data Protection Board, a final version of the official Guidelines 10/2020 on restrictions under Art. 23 GDPR was adopted, following a lengthy public consultation that ended in February 2021. The Guidelines review the conditions surrounding the introduction of restrictions on the rights of data subjects by Member States and provide an in-depth analysis of the grounds and criteria for their application, the assessments that are to be conducted and the consequences of breaches of the requirements for the imposition of restrictions, as well as the obligations and rights that may be restricted.

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»CLARIFICATIONS ON PERSONAL DATA TRANSFERS BY THE EDPB
On 19 November 2021, the European Data Protection Board published its draft guidance on the interplay between the provisions on the territorial scope and international transfers of personal data included in the GDPR. The draft Guidelines can be found on the website of the EDPB and are open for public consultation until 31 January 2022. The Guidelines are intended to assist controllers and processors, subject to the GDPR, in determining whether a given processing activity constitutes an international transfer of personal data under the Regulation.

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»ESSENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS ACT
At the end of 2020, the National Assembly adopted large-scale amendments to the Administrative Violations and Sanctions Act, and it was envisaged that these amendments would enter into force as of 23.12.2021. The present article includes the implementation of: a definition of the terms “minor case” and “evidently minor case”, a new penalty for community service, amendments in procedural deadlines, the possibility of concluding an agreement to close administrative proceedings, violations, performed in cyberspace, and electronic service.

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»THE NEW ACT ON THE SUPPLY OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND DIGITAL SERVICES AND THE SALE OF FOODS – BETTER CONSUMER PROTECTION
Act on the Supply of Digital Content and Digital Services and the Sale of Goods (the Act) was promulgated in State Gazette issue 23 dated 19 March 2021, which regulates the supply of digital content and services to consumers by implementing Directive (EU) 2019/770 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, and Directive (EU) 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods aimed at harmonizing the legislation of the Member States in the field of consumer sales of goods and the supply of digital content and services. You may read more about the new regulation in this article.

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»CPDP OPINION ON PROCESSING VACCINATION STATUS DATA
On 06.10.2021 the CPDP published its opinion regarding the processing of data about the vaccination status of individuals from the EU Digital COVID Certificate. The opinion is in response to a number of letters by non-governmental organizations and citizens regarding the lawful processing of data about vaccination status and provides useful clarifications to the public regarding the admissibility and specifics of the processing of such personal data.

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»NEW INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF SCC CLARIFIES THE CONCEPTS OF CLOSURE OF PART OF THE UNDERTAKING, INTERNAL REORGANIZATION AND STAFF CUTS
On 26 October 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil Division of the Supreme Court of Cassation has adopted Interpretative Decision No. 5/ 2019 under Interpretative Case No. 5/ 2019. With the latter decision, the court provides clarifications on the concepts of “closure of part of the undertaking”, “internal reorganization” and “staff cuts” in view of termination of employment by the employer via a notice. Furthermore, in its interpretative decision, SCC answers the question of what is the legal significance of these three concepts in regard of the employer’s right and obligation to carry out selection upon suspension of any activity and when the latter activity is continued to be carried out by in the same or another settlement.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2021
Decree No. 322/ 07.10.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 85 dated 12 October 2021. The 60/40 measure (which can now also be in some cases a 50/50 measure) has been prolonged with another five months – from 1 August 2021 until 31 December 2021. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»OPPORTUNITIES FOR APPEALING OF DECISIONS FOR REDUCTION OF THE REGULATED MAXIMUM PRICE OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
There are opportunities, which may be realized by Marketing Authorisation holders (MAHs) of certain pharmaceutical products by appealing the National Council for Prices and Reimbursement of Medicinal Products decisions concerning reduction of the regulated maximum price of the MAH’s products, and/ or for the imposition of fines for non-compliance with the Bulgarian pharma-pricing legislation requirements. You can read more on these matters here.

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»DRAFT REGULATION ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PRODUCTS
A procedure for public discussion of a draft Regulation for reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (the Draft, the Regulation) was opened in the Portal for Public Consultations of the Council of Ministers on 5 August 2021. The Draft transposes into Bulgarian legislation Directive (EU) 2019/904 of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, the so-called single-use plastic products.

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»NEW EUROPEAN RULES FOR PROTECTION OF PEOPLE REPORTING FOR BREACHES OF EU LAW
At the end of 2019, Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law was adopted. The Directive establishes new rules for the protection of persons who report for breaches – the so called “whistleblowers”. The Directive aims to introduce effective, confidential and secure channels for reporting and to ensure that persons who report breaches have effective protection against retaliation and in that way encouraging the signalizing of irregularities. You will find more information on the topic in this article.

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»UPCOMING AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
A proposal for Bill for Amendment and Supplementation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was published on 6 August 2021 in the Portal for Public Consultations of the Council of Ministers. The amendments will transpose in Bulgarian legislation Directive (EU) 2019/2161. The amendments introduce some novelties and changes regarding distant-selling and off-premises selling, the sale of goods through online marketplaces, etc., which aim at a higher degree of consumer protection in the sale of goods via the Internet. The present article will briefly review some of the main planned amendments.

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»THE REQUIREMENT FOR TECHNICAL PASSPORTS OF THE BUILDINGS – PRIVATE PROPERTY BUILT BEFORE 2006, IS REPEALED
Ordinance for amendment of Ordinance No. 5 dated 2006 Concerning the Technical Passports of Constructions has been promulgated in State Gazette issue 68 dated 17 August 2021. The introduced amendments repeal the requirement for preparation of technical passport of the buildings – private property until 31 December 2021. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.


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»ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR 2020 IN THE COMMERCIAL REGISTER
With regard to the 2020 annual closing of accounts we would like to remind you that the companies that are registered in the Bulgarian Commercial Register with the Registry Agency are obliged to present for announcement at the Register the documents under Art. 38 of the Accountancy Act (e.g. Annual Financial Statements, Annual Activity Report, Auditor’s Report, etc.) not later than 30 September 2021.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 31 JULY 2021
Decree No. 213/ 01.07.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 56 dated 6 July 2021. The 60/40 measure has been prolonged with another two months – from 1 June 2021 until 31 July 2021. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS CONCERNING WORK AND RESIDENCE REGIMES OF FOREIGNERS IN BULGARIA
At the end of its term, the 44th National Assembly adopted legislative amendments concerning the regime of work and residence of foreigners in Bulgaria. The most significant of them are the abolition of the requirement to perform a market test when hiring third-country nationals outside the European Union (EU), the introduction of a new procedure for issuing an EU Blue Card and a Single Residence and Work Permit, and the creation of a Startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs from outside the EU. This article briefly summarises the significant changes.

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»INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF THE SCC ON THE REGISTRATION OF A MORTGAGE AFTER ITS DELETION DUE TO THE EXPIRY OF THE TEN-YEAR EFFECTIVENESS
On 17 March 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil and Commercial Chambers of the Supreme Court of Cassation adopted an interpretative decision No 3/2018 on interpretative case No 3/2018, which answered the question whether it is possible for the mortgage to be re-entered after the ten-year term of validity of the effect has expired and the mortgage has been deleted under Art. 22 of the Registry Rules (RR). In this article it will be briefly considered what solution of the issue is given by the Supreme Court of Cassation.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
A Bill to Amend and Supplement of the Waste Management Act was promulgated in State Gazette (SG), issue 19 dated 5 March 2021, which introduced a number of amendments in the waste management regime, implementing the requirements of the European Directive 2008/98/EC. This article briefly summarizes some of the more significant amendments.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE HAS BEEN PROLONGED UNTIL 31 MAY 2021
Decree No. 93/ 18.03.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 24 dated 23 March 2021. In our brief article on the matter you will learn about the changes introduced with Decree No. 93/ 18.03.2021.

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»DRAFT OF NEW ORDINANCE ON FOOD SUPPLEMENTS
At the Portal for Public Consultations is published a draft of a new Ordinance on Food Supplements. Public consultations on the draft are opened on 10 March 2021 with deadline for submission of opinions 09 April 2021. Some of the basic moments of the draft are: possibility for simultaneous launch on the market of several supplements with one application to BFSA, registration of internet sellers of food supplements under the order of the Foods Act, change in the obligatory information on the labels, etc. You can read more in the memo below.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION ACT
On 26 February 2021, issue 17 of the State Gazette (SG) published the Act for amendment and supplement (AAS) of the Protection of Competition Act (PCA), which introduced a number of important changes in the Bulgarian competition law regime. The present article briefly summarizes the most significant changes introduced by the Bill.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT FOR THE MEASURES AND ACTIONS DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY AND OVERCOMING OF THE CONSEQUENCES
In State Gazette, issue 14 dated 17 February 2021, Bill for Amendment and Supplementation of the Act for the Measures and Actions During the State of Emergency Declared by Resolution of the Parliament and for Overcoming of the Consequences was promulgated. The present article briefly summarizes the most significant changes introduced by the Bill.

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»INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF THE SCC ON DIFFERENT HYPOTHESES FOR TERMINATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BY THE EMPLOYER
On 1 February 2021, the General Assembly of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Cassation adopted an interpretative decision No 4/2017 on interpretative case No 4/2017, which answered some controversial questions concerning the interpretation of three hypotheses in which the employer may terminate the employee’s employment contract with a notice – in case the worker or employee lacks the capacity for efficient execution of the work, in case the worker or employee does not possess the educational level or professional qualification required for the work executed and upon change of the requirements for execution of the position, if the worker or employee does not satisfy them. In this article will be reviews the solutions that the SCC gives to the controversial issues.

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»THE PROCEDURE FOR FINANCING OF SMALL ENTERPRISES WITH TURNOVER OVER BGN 500,000 IS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATION
On 22 February 2021, the Managing Authority of Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness 2014-2020 opened for application the procedure for selection of projects "Support for small enterprises with turnover over BGN 500,000 for overcoming of the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The deadline for application is 15 March 2021. This article briefly describes the main parameters of the procedure and how to apply.

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»AMENDMENTS IN THE LEGAL REGULATION ON THE POSTING AND SECONDMENT OF EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF PROVISION OF SERVICES
In the State Gazette, issue 6 from 21 January 2021, was published Decree No 9 of 15 January 2021 on amendments and supplements of the Ordinance on the rules and procedures for posting and secondment of workers and employees within the framework of provision of services (the Decree). With the amendments adopted by the Decree, in the Bulgarian legislation was successfully implemented, albeit belatedly, Directive 2018/957/EU, which introduced the obligation for introduction in the national legislation of additional rights of the posted employees. In order to transpose the Directive, a brief change was made in the Labour Code, which set the legal framework for further development of the regulation on the posting and secondment of employees in the framework of the provision of services. In this article we will look at the most significant changes in the regime of posting and secondment of employees.

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»WHOLESALERS ARE REMOVED FROM THE CATEGORIES OF OBLIGED ENTITIES UNDER THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
In State Gazette, issue 7 dated 26 January 2021, the Bill to Amend and Supplement the Measures Against Money Laundering Act (MAMLA) was promulgated. According to the provided amendments, the wholesalers no longer be obliged entities under MAMLA. As a result to this amendment, wholesalers will have no obligation to apply the measures for prevention of money laundering provided for in the law.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE HAS BEEN PROLONGED UNTIL 31 MARCH 2021
Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 416 dated 30 December 2020 was promulgated in State Gazette issue 2/ 08.01.2021. Thus, the 60/40 measure has been prolonged for another three months – from 1 January 2021 until 31 January 2021. Some other changes have also been introduced in the regime of payment of funds for preservation of employment after the period of the state of emergency and extraordinary epidemic situation. You can learn more from our short article on the matter.

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»AMENDMENTS IN THE LABOR LEGISLATION REGARDING ON-DUTY, ON-CALL TIME AND PATERNITY LEAVE
By Decree No. 289 of 27 September 2022 of the Council of Ministers, amendments were adopted to the Ordinance on working hours, rests and leaves and to the Ordinance on the cash benefits and benefits from the state social insurance, regulating the matters of on-duty, on-call time and paternity leave. The amendments specify the current regulations of the mentioned labor law institutes and introduce some new requirements for the employers, which we will outline briefly in the present publication.

Read more



»THE DEADLINE FOR THE RE-REGISTRATION OF NON-PROFIT LEGAL ENTITIES IS APPROACHING – 31 DECEMBER 2022
We remind you that the deadline for non-profit legal entities, which are registered in the register of non-profit legal entities at the district courts, to be re-registered in the Commercial Register and the Register of NPLE is approaching – this is 31 December 2022. Find out more about the re-registration procedure in our short message.

Read more



»NEW EU ROAMING RULES: “ROAMING LIKE AT HOME” FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS
On 1 July 2022, Regulation (EU) 2022/612 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 April 2022 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union (the Regulation) entered into force. It will extend by 10 years the current rules, called “Roaming as at home”, which expire in 2022. In this article we will briefly review the new rules for roaming services in the EU.

Read more



»AMENDMENTS TO THE LABOUR CODE – NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS AND NEW RIGHTS FOR EMPLOYEES
In No. 62 of the State Gazette dated 5 August 2022 was promulgated the Act Amending and Supplementing the Labour Code, which introduces a number of amendments establishing new obligations for employers when concluding an employment contract, new possibilities for amending the employment relationship, new rights for employees related to working hours, the type of employment contract, and the reconciliation of work and family obligations. This article discusses the main amendments.

Read more



»PROPOSAL FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW TYPE OF COMMERCIAL COMPANY – A COMPANY WITH VARIABLE CAPITAL
On 15.06.2022, a bill amending and supplementing the Commercial Act was submitted to the National Assembly, which provided for the creation of a new type of commercial company - a company with variable capital. The introduction of this new legal form is aimed primarily at innovative start-up companies (“start-up companies”), with the aim of creating a legal framework tailored to the specifics of these companies and allowing them greater flexibility and accessibility in their creation and management and opportunities to attract investments. In this material, we will briefly consider the specifics of this new legal form of a commercial company, notwithstanding that, given the dissolution of the National Assembly, it will be necessary to re-introduce the bill for consideration by the next National Assembly.

Read more



»TRANSACTIONS WITH FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
In a series of brief materials (the first of which is this one) we intend to address some legal issues related to investing. We believe that this would be useful to the retail investors – mainly individuals who invest or would like to start investing without this being their main activity. We shall start with a brief review of some issues concerning transactions with financial instruments and the way they shall take place. The reason for this is that in the recent years, in addition to the usual practice of investing in real estate properties (as an alternative to bank deposits), investments in financial instruments have become increasingly popular.

Read more



»THE EUROPEAN UNION ADOPTED THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE RECOGNITION OF JUDGMENTS
On 12 July 2022, Council Decision (EU) 2022/1206 on the accession of the European Union to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil or Commercial Matters was published in the Official Journal of the EU. More information can be found in this material.

Read more



»NEW LAW AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES ACT
In the State Gazette No. 42/7.6.2022 the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (LAS RESA) was promulgated. More information can be found in this material.

Read more



»NEW AMENDMENTS TO THE ELECTORNIC GOVERNMENT ACT WILL MAKE THE USE OF ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES EASIER
On 10 June 2022, an Act Amending and Supplementing the Electronic Government Act was published on the Portal for public consultations of the Council of Ministersл The proposal for amendment of the EGA was presented by the Ministry of e-Government and contains amendments for reducing the administrative burden for citizens and business in the use of administrative services. Learn more about the amendments from our brief article.

Read more



»OBLIGATION TO REGISTER OF PERSONS PLACING CERTAIN SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET
As of 01.09.2022, persons placing on the market single-use plastic products (SUPP) under Annex 1, Part E of the SUPP Ordinance and fishing gear containing plastic are required to register in the public register maintained by the Executive Environmental Agency.

Read more



»TRANSPOSITION OF THE WHISTLEBLOWING DIRECTIVE IN THE BULGARIAN LEGISLATION
On 21 April 2022, a draft Law on the Protection of Persons Reporting or Publicly Disclosing Information on Breaches was published on the portal of the Council of Ministers for Public Consultations, which transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law. This article will discuss some key provisions of the Draft bill.

Read more



»THE MEASURE 60/40 IS EXTENDED UNTIL 30 JUNE 2022
In issue 27 of 5 April 2022 of the State Gazette Decree No 40 of 31 March 2022 was promulgated amending Decree No 151 of Council of Ministers of 3 July 2020 determining the conditions and procedures for payment of funds for preservation of the employment after the period of the state of emergency declared by the Decision of the National Assembly of 13 March 2020 and the epidemic emergency situation declared by Decision No 325 and extended by Decision No 378 of the Council of Ministers of 2020. In our short publication on the issue you will learn what amendments have been made.

Read more



»THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REPEALED THE MORATORIUM ON THE ACQUISITION THROUGH PRESCRIPTIONOF STATE AND MUNICIPAL PROPERTIES
On 24 February 2022 the Constitutional Court issued a decision repealing the long-standing moratorium on the acquisition of state and municipal property by prescription. In this article we will briefly review the main points of the decision and the reasons for its adoption.

Read more



»CHANGE IN THE PRACTICE OF THE CRIMINAL COURTS ON THE PROVISION OF LOANS WITH OWN FUNDS WITHOUT PERMISSION
The practice of the criminal courts on the application of Art. 252, Para. 1 and 2 of the Penal Code is very important upon the provision of loans with own funds without registration of the lender as financial institution. Currently there are some important changes in this regard. What are they and what are they related to?

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»ARE WE PREPARED FOR AN INSPECTION BY THE LABOR INSPECTORATE REGARDING THE REMOTE WORK
In the recent weeks, there has been a growing public еcho on the information that the Executive Agency of the General Labor Inspectorate intends to start inspections for compliance with the rules for the remote work through innovative control method. It is envisaged that employers shall identify gaps in the application of the legislation through self-monitoring questionnaires. Prior to the on-site inspection, employers would have had the time and opportunity to eliminate inconsistencies with the law. In this article we will briefly recall the main obligations of employers in establishing a regime of remote work, so that you are prepared for a possible inspection.

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»NEW OBLIGATION OF PUBLIC COMPANIES – TO CALCULATE THEIR COSTS FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE OBJECTIVES
The Taxonomy Regulation, adopted by the European parliament and the Council of the EU in the mid-2020 imposes an obligation on public companies with more than 500 employees to calculate and communicate to their investors how much of their revenue, capital and operating costs come from or go to activities that the EU defines as “green”. The regulation was adopted in the context of the transition to a safe, climate-neutral, climate-resilient, more resource-efficient and circular economy, which the EU considers crucial to ensure the long-term competitiveness of its economy. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY 2022
Decree No. 482/ 30.12.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 1 dated 4 January 2022. The 60/40 measure (which can now also be in some cases a 50/50 measure) has been prolonged with another new two months – from 1 January 2022 until 28 February 2022. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»NEW INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF SCC REGARDING THE INITIAL MOMENT OF THE TWO-WEEK TERM FOR REPORTING TO WORK OF THE EMPLOYEE UPON REINSTATEMENT TO WORK BY THE COURT
On 2 December 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil Division of the Supreme Court of Cassation has adopted Interpretative Decision No. 3/ 2019 under Interpretative Case No. 3/ 2019. With the latter decision, the court answers the question of when does the two-week term for reporting to work following reinstatement to previous job begins to run – at the moment of reception of an explicit message from the court of first instance which has adjudicated the case or at the moment of acknowledgement of the effective court decision for reinstatement to previous job, which does not include a message for reporting to work in a certain term. Learn more about the court’s justification and conclusion from our brief article on the matter.

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»ON 4 JANUARY 2022 THE SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS WILL RECEIVE A NEW UNIFIED IDENTIFICATION CODE UNDER THE BULSTAT REGISTER
On 4 January 2022, the amendments to the BULSTAT Register Act will enter into force, as per which the unified identification code of self-employed natural persons and craftsmen will be transformed from 10-digit to 9-digit and registration of these categories of persons will be registered with a 9-digit UIC from then on. These amendments are introduced with regard to the protection of personal data of natural persons and the compliance with GDPR. As a result of these amendments, the self-employed persons and craftsmen will obtain new 9-digit unified identification codes. This article will briefly review these changes.

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»EDPB GUIDELINES ON RESTRICTIONS OF DATA SUBJECTS’ RIGHTS
During the 43rd plenary session of the European Data Protection Board, a final version of the official Guidelines 10/2020 on restrictions under Art. 23 GDPR was adopted, following a lengthy public consultation that ended in February 2021. The Guidelines review the conditions surrounding the introduction of restrictions on the rights of data subjects by Member States and provide an in-depth analysis of the grounds and criteria for their application, the assessments that are to be conducted and the consequences of breaches of the requirements for the imposition of restrictions, as well as the obligations and rights that may be restricted.

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»CLARIFICATIONS ON PERSONAL DATA TRANSFERS BY THE EDPB
On 19 November 2021, the European Data Protection Board published its draft guidance on the interplay between the provisions on the territorial scope and international transfers of personal data included in the GDPR. The draft Guidelines can be found on the website of the EDPB and are open for public consultation until 31 January 2022. The Guidelines are intended to assist controllers and processors, subject to the GDPR, in determining whether a given processing activity constitutes an international transfer of personal data under the Regulation.

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»ESSENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS ACT
At the end of 2020, the National Assembly adopted large-scale amendments to the Administrative Violations and Sanctions Act, and it was envisaged that these amendments would enter into force as of 23.12.2021. The present article includes the implementation of: a definition of the terms “minor case” and “evidently minor case”, a new penalty for community service, amendments in procedural deadlines, the possibility of concluding an agreement to close administrative proceedings, violations, performed in cyberspace, and electronic service.

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»THE NEW ACT ON THE SUPPLY OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND DIGITAL SERVICES AND THE SALE OF FOODS – BETTER CONSUMER PROTECTION
Act on the Supply of Digital Content and Digital Services and the Sale of Goods (the Act) was promulgated in State Gazette issue 23 dated 19 March 2021, which regulates the supply of digital content and services to consumers by implementing Directive (EU) 2019/770 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, and Directive (EU) 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods aimed at harmonizing the legislation of the Member States in the field of consumer sales of goods and the supply of digital content and services. You may read more about the new regulation in this article.

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»CPDP OPINION ON PROCESSING VACCINATION STATUS DATA
On 06.10.2021 the CPDP published its opinion regarding the processing of data about the vaccination status of individuals from the EU Digital COVID Certificate. The opinion is in response to a number of letters by non-governmental organizations and citizens regarding the lawful processing of data about vaccination status and provides useful clarifications to the public regarding the admissibility and specifics of the processing of such personal data.

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»NEW INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF SCC CLARIFIES THE CONCEPTS OF CLOSURE OF PART OF THE UNDERTAKING, INTERNAL REORGANIZATION AND STAFF CUTS
On 26 October 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil Division of the Supreme Court of Cassation has adopted Interpretative Decision No. 5/ 2019 under Interpretative Case No. 5/ 2019. With the latter decision, the court provides clarifications on the concepts of “closure of part of the undertaking”, “internal reorganization” and “staff cuts” in view of termination of employment by the employer via a notice. Furthermore, in its interpretative decision, SCC answers the question of what is the legal significance of these three concepts in regard of the employer’s right and obligation to carry out selection upon suspension of any activity and when the latter activity is continued to be carried out by in the same or another settlement.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2021
Decree No. 322/ 07.10.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 85 dated 12 October 2021. The 60/40 measure (which can now also be in some cases a 50/50 measure) has been prolonged with another five months – from 1 August 2021 until 31 December 2021. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»OPPORTUNITIES FOR APPEALING OF DECISIONS FOR REDUCTION OF THE REGULATED MAXIMUM PRICE OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
There are opportunities, which may be realized by Marketing Authorisation holders (MAHs) of certain pharmaceutical products by appealing the National Council for Prices and Reimbursement of Medicinal Products decisions concerning reduction of the regulated maximum price of the MAH’s products, and/ or for the imposition of fines for non-compliance with the Bulgarian pharma-pricing legislation requirements. You can read more on these matters here.

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»DRAFT REGULATION ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PRODUCTS
A procedure for public discussion of a draft Regulation for reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (the Draft, the Regulation) was opened in the Portal for Public Consultations of the Council of Ministers on 5 August 2021. The Draft transposes into Bulgarian legislation Directive (EU) 2019/904 of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, the so-called single-use plastic products.

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»NEW EUROPEAN RULES FOR PROTECTION OF PEOPLE REPORTING FOR BREACHES OF EU LAW
At the end of 2019, Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law was adopted. The Directive establishes new rules for the protection of persons who report for breaches – the so called “whistleblowers”. The Directive aims to introduce effective, confidential and secure channels for reporting and to ensure that persons who report breaches have effective protection against retaliation and in that way encouraging the signalizing of irregularities. You will find more information on the topic in this article.

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»UPCOMING AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
A proposal for Bill for Amendment and Supplementation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was published on 6 August 2021 in the Portal for Public Consultations of the Council of Ministers. The amendments will transpose in Bulgarian legislation Directive (EU) 2019/2161. The amendments introduce some novelties and changes regarding distant-selling and off-premises selling, the sale of goods through online marketplaces, etc., which aim at a higher degree of consumer protection in the sale of goods via the Internet. The present article will briefly review some of the main planned amendments.

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»THE REQUIREMENT FOR TECHNICAL PASSPORTS OF THE BUILDINGS – PRIVATE PROPERTY BUILT BEFORE 2006, IS REPEALED
Ordinance for amendment of Ordinance No. 5 dated 2006 Concerning the Technical Passports of Constructions has been promulgated in State Gazette issue 68 dated 17 August 2021. The introduced amendments repeal the requirement for preparation of technical passport of the buildings – private property until 31 December 2021. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.


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»ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR 2020 IN THE COMMERCIAL REGISTER
With regard to the 2020 annual closing of accounts we would like to remind you that the companies that are registered in the Bulgarian Commercial Register with the Registry Agency are obliged to present for announcement at the Register the documents under Art. 38 of the Accountancy Act (e.g. Annual Financial Statements, Annual Activity Report, Auditor’s Report, etc.) not later than 30 September 2021.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE IS AMENDED AND PROLONGED UNTIL 31 JULY 2021
Decree No. 213/ 01.07.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 03.07.2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 56 dated 6 July 2021. The 60/40 measure has been prolonged with another two months – from 1 June 2021 until 31 July 2021. A number of amendments were also introduced. Learn more on the topic from our brief article.

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»LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS CONCERNING WORK AND RESIDENCE REGIMES OF FOREIGNERS IN BULGARIA
At the end of its term, the 44th National Assembly adopted legislative amendments concerning the regime of work and residence of foreigners in Bulgaria. The most significant of them are the abolition of the requirement to perform a market test when hiring third-country nationals outside the European Union (EU), the introduction of a new procedure for issuing an EU Blue Card and a Single Residence and Work Permit, and the creation of a Startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs from outside the EU. This article briefly summarises the significant changes.

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»INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF THE SCC ON THE REGISTRATION OF A MORTGAGE AFTER ITS DELETION DUE TO THE EXPIRY OF THE TEN-YEAR EFFECTIVENESS
On 17 March 2021 the General Assembly of the Civil and Commercial Chambers of the Supreme Court of Cassation adopted an interpretative decision No 3/2018 on interpretative case No 3/2018, which answered the question whether it is possible for the mortgage to be re-entered after the ten-year term of validity of the effect has expired and the mortgage has been deleted under Art. 22 of the Registry Rules (RR). In this article it will be briefly considered what solution of the issue is given by the Supreme Court of Cassation.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
A Bill to Amend and Supplement of the Waste Management Act was promulgated in State Gazette (SG), issue 19 dated 5 March 2021, which introduced a number of amendments in the waste management regime, implementing the requirements of the European Directive 2008/98/EC. This article briefly summarizes some of the more significant amendments.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE HAS BEEN PROLONGED UNTIL 31 MAY 2021
Decree No. 93/ 18.03.2021 for amendment and supplementation of Decree No. 151/ 2020 of the Councils of Ministers Defining the Requirements and Procedure for Payment of Funds for Preservation of Employment after the Period of the State of Emergency and the Extraordinary Epidemic Situation was promulgated in State Gazette, issue 24 dated 23 March 2021. In our brief article on the matter you will learn about the changes introduced with Decree No. 93/ 18.03.2021.

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»DRAFT OF NEW ORDINANCE ON FOOD SUPPLEMENTS
At the Portal for Public Consultations is published a draft of a new Ordinance on Food Supplements. Public consultations on the draft are opened on 10 March 2021 with deadline for submission of opinions 09 April 2021. Some of the basic moments of the draft are: possibility for simultaneous launch on the market of several supplements with one application to BFSA, registration of internet sellers of food supplements under the order of the Foods Act, change in the obligatory information on the labels, etc. You can read more in the memo below.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION ACT
On 26 February 2021, issue 17 of the State Gazette (SG) published the Act for amendment and supplement (AAS) of the Protection of Competition Act (PCA), which introduced a number of important changes in the Bulgarian competition law regime. The present article briefly summarizes the most significant changes introduced by the Bill.

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»AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT FOR THE MEASURES AND ACTIONS DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY AND OVERCOMING OF THE CONSEQUENCES
In State Gazette, issue 14 dated 17 February 2021, Bill for Amendment and Supplementation of the Act for the Measures and Actions During the State of Emergency Declared by Resolution of the Parliament and for Overcoming of the Consequences was promulgated. The present article briefly summarizes the most significant changes introduced by the Bill.

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»INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF THE SCC ON DIFFERENT HYPOTHESES FOR TERMINATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BY THE EMPLOYER
On 1 February 2021, the General Assembly of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Cassation adopted an interpretative decision No 4/2017 on interpretative case No 4/2017, which answered some controversial questions concerning the interpretation of three hypotheses in which the employer may terminate the employee’s employment contract with a notice – in case the worker or employee lacks the capacity for efficient execution of the work, in case the worker or employee does not possess the educational level or professional qualification required for the work executed and upon change of the requirements for execution of the position, if the worker or employee does not satisfy them. In this article will be reviews the solutions that the SCC gives to the controversial issues.

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»THE PROCEDURE FOR FINANCING OF SMALL ENTERPRISES WITH TURNOVER OVER BGN 500,000 IS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATION
On 22 February 2021, the Managing Authority of Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness 2014-2020 opened for application the procedure for selection of projects "Support for small enterprises with turnover over BGN 500,000 for overcoming of the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The deadline for application is 15 March 2021. This article briefly describes the main parameters of the procedure and how to apply.

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»AMENDMENTS IN THE LEGAL REGULATION ON THE POSTING AND SECONDMENT OF EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF PROVISION OF SERVICES
In the State Gazette, issue 6 from 21 January 2021, was published Decree No 9 of 15 January 2021 on amendments and supplements of the Ordinance on the rules and procedures for posting and secondment of workers and employees within the framework of provision of services (the Decree). With the amendments adopted by the Decree, in the Bulgarian legislation was successfully implemented, albeit belatedly, Directive 2018/957/EU, which introduced the obligation for introduction in the national legislation of additional rights of the posted employees. In order to transpose the Directive, a brief change was made in the Labour Code, which set the legal framework for further development of the regulation on the posting and secondment of employees in the framework of the provision of services. In this article we will look at the most significant changes in the regime of posting and secondment of employees.

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»WHOLESALERS ARE REMOVED FROM THE CATEGORIES OF OBLIGED ENTITIES UNDER THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
In State Gazette, issue 7 dated 26 January 2021, the Bill to Amend and Supplement the Measures Against Money Laundering Act (MAMLA) was promulgated. According to the provided amendments, the wholesalers no longer be obliged entities under MAMLA. As a result to this amendment, wholesalers will have no obligation to apply the measures for prevention of money laundering provided for in the law.

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»THE 60/40 MEASURE HAS BEEN PROLONGED UNTIL 31 MARCH 2021
Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 416 dated 30 December 2020 was promulgated in State Gazette issue 2/ 08.01.2021. Thus, the 60/40 measure has been prolonged for another three months – from 1 January 2021 until 31 January 2021. Some other changes have also been introduced in the regime of payment of funds for preservation of employment after the period of the state of emergency and extraordinary epidemic situation. You can learn more from our short article on the matter.

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