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»NEW AMENDMENTS TO THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
In issue No 42 of State Gazette, dated 28 May 2019, an Act for Amendments and Supplementations to the Measures against Money Laundering Act was promulgated. The procedure for disclosure of the beneficial owners of the non-profit legal entities was facilitated by the adopted amendments. More information on this topic can be found in the present publication.

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»SINGLE NATIONAL WEBSITE ON POSTING OF WORKERS
A single national website on the posting of workers, developed by General Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency under the requirements of Art. 5 of Directive 2014/67 / EU and in accordance with Art. 12, para. 2 of the Ordinance on the conditions and procedure for sending to business trips workers and employees within the frames of provision of services, is already functioning in Bulgaria. More information and details about the site can be found in the present publication.

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»INTERPRETATIVE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION CLARIFYING THE ORDER FOR REPAYMENT OF MONETARY OBLIGATIONS
On 27 March 2019 the General Assembly of the Civil and Commercial Colleges (GACCC) of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) passed an Interpretative Decision No 3/2017 under Interpretative Case No 3/2017, for reconciliation the contradictory practice of the courts with regard to the order of repayment of monetary obligations regarding: (1) when the payment made by the debtor is insufficient and the debtor has not indicated which debt is repaid, the costs are repaid first, then the interest (including the statutory interest for delay) and finally the principal; and (2) upon early repayment the creditor is entitled to receive the outstanding principal and the statutory interest from the date of the early repayment up to the date of the received payment, without being entitled to remunerative interest until the end of the original credit term.

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»FORTHCOMING AMENDMENTS TO THE CCP FOR EXTENSION OF THE DEBTOR'S PROTECTION IN THE ORDER FOR PAYMENT PROCEEDINGS
In order to implement the instructions, given by the European Commission, a Bill for amendment and supplement of the Code of Civil Procedure was brought in the National Assembly on 28 February 2019. The amendments aim to extend the terms for filing an opposition and voluntary compliance by the debtor, adopting special rules for claims under customer contracts and changes with regard to the stay of enforcement as a result of filing an opposition.

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»CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURE OF FULFILMENT OF THE EMPLOYERS’ OBLIGATION FOR RECRUITMENT OF DISABLED PEOPLE
In issue 27 of State Gazette, dated 2 April 2019, were promulgated Regulations for application of the Persons with Disabilities Act. By the adoption of the secondary legislation was determined the procedure of fulfilment of the employers' obligation for recruitment of people with disabilities. More information on this topic can be found in the present publication.

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»AMENDMENTS IN REGARD TO THE TERM FOR ADOPTION OF INTERNAL RULES FOR CONTROL AND PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND FINANCING OF TERRORISM AND DROPPING OUT THEIR SUBMISSION TO SANS FOR APPROVAL ARE EXPECTED
The Parliament is discussing the approval of amendments regarding the Measures Against Money Laundering Act related to the Internal Rules for Control and Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. What are the expected amendments and how they will affect the liable persons?

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»THE NEW SPECIALIZED ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR TRACKING AND ANALYSIS OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
Until 7 April 2019 is open the public discussion on the new draft Regulation on the Specialized Electronic System for Tracking and Analysis of Medicinal Products of the Ministry of Health. The draft Regulation provides for the participants on the drugs market (marketing authorization holders, holders of authorizations for parallel import, wholesalers, pharmacies, medical care facilities, etc.) to submit regularly to the System information on the quantities of medicinal products from the Positive Drugs List delivered by them or to them, the quantities of medicinal products on stock in their warehouses, etc. Based on the information from the new System the Bulgarian Drug Agency will execute a List of the medicinal products from the Positive Drugs List, for which are established shortages on the territory of the country and these drugs will be prohibited for export.

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»THE ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDING AGAINST EMPLOYER, WHO PAID GARNISHED REMUNERATION ACCORDING TO INTERPRETATIVE JUDGEMENT OF SCC
The contradictory case law on the issue whether the payer of the debtor's remuneration notwithstanding the garnishment imposed, has the capacity of debtor in the enforcement proceeding or of a third party for the enforcement, has provoked the institution of Interpretative Case No. 4 of 2017 of the General Assembly of the Civil and Commercial Colleges (GACCC) of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC). Interpretative judgement of SCC of 11 March 2019 provides an answer to the question which of the different opinions is correct.

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»THE TERM “WHOLESALER” UNDER THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
The wholesalers are liable under the Measures against Money Laundering Act. In this capacity they shall apply the measures for prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering purposes. Nevertheless, it is not clear which persons exactly shall be considered wholesalers. What risks does this raise and what are the possible solutions?

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»DRAFT DIRECTIVE TO AMEND EU COMPANY LAW
On 04.02.2019 the European Council announced that it reached an agreement with the European Parliament on the text of a draft Directive for the amendment of EU company law rules, which shall facilitate and promote the use of online solutions throughout a company’s life cycle. The proposed directive complements the existing rules on EU company law, codified in Directive (EU) 2017/ 1132 of 14 June 2017, and forms a part of the efforts for modernisation of EU company law.

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»ABOLITION OF THE APOSTILLE REQUIREMENT WITHIN THE EUROPEAN UNION
The requirement for presentation of apostille on official documents attesting facts about civil status, when issued and used within the European Union, will not apply as of 16 February 2019. The rules in Regulation 2016/1191 aim to simplify the administrative procedures concerning the presentation of official documents in the Member States. About the documents falling under the scope of the Regulation and the other simplifications provided for therein, you can read in this publication.

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»NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS PURSUANT TO THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (PDA)
The new Persons with Disabilities Act (the Act or PDA) was promulgated on 18 December 2018, No 105 of the State Gazette, which repealed the previously in force Integration of Persons with Disabilities Act. The Act is in effect as of 1 January 2019. The PDA further elaborates and refines the already existing legal framework regarding the rights of persons with disabilities, through which they are provided with the necessary and adequate socio-economic state support for their inclusion in society. The subject of this presentation are the new obligations for Bulgarian employers, provided for by the Act.

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»NEW REQUIREMENTS TO THE ONLINE SHOP OPERATORS
Amendments were made to the Value Added Tax Act and to Ordinance No H-18 of 13.12.2006 on registering and accounting by means of fiscal devices of sales in commercial establishments, which provide for new requirements for the persons/ entities, which perform sales via online shop.

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»FACILITATION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR VEHICLE TRANSACTIONS
The adopted amendments to the Municipal Taxes and Fees Act and the Tax and Tax and Social Security Procedure Code settles facilitation of the administrative burden for transactions or acts for acquisition of motor vehicles. The amendment is made on the grounds of the electronic exchange of information between municipalities and the Ministry of Finance, adopted in 2015.

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»AMENDED TERMS UNDER THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
By the Transitional and Final Provisions of the new Cyber Security Act have been amended some terms directly related to the application of the Measures Against Money Laundering Act. Which are the amended terms and what will be the practical effect of the amendments?

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»NEW ISSUES REGARDING THE REGISTRATION OF INFORMATION ON THE BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF COMPANIES IN THE COMMERCIAL REGISTER PURSUANT TO THE MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
Recently Ordinance No 1of 2007 for keeping, preservation and access to the Commercial Register and the Register of Non-Profit Legal Entities has been amended. By the said amendments the procedure for registration of the circumstances regarding the beneficial owners of the companies has been set forth. What shall be paid attention to in regard to the said registration and whether it is possible as at the present moment?

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»EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION BOARD’S OPINION ON THE LIST OF ACTIVITES FOR WHICH THE PERFORMANCE OF A DATA PROTECTION IMPACT ASSESSMENT IS MANDATORY
On 25 September 2018, the European Data Protection Board announced its opinion on the draft of the Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection (CPDP) for a list of activities that necessarily impose the performance of data protection impact assessment (DPIA). This list includes the activities related to the processing of personal data, before the performance of which the personal data controller should perform a DPIA, in accordance with the requirements of Art. 35 of the General Data Protection Regulation. After reflecting the recommendations of the opinion, the list will be published by the CPDP.

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»REMOVAL OF BEARER SHARES
The National Assembly adopted amendments of the Commercial Act, by means of which it abolished the possibility of issuing bearer shares. The amendments are necessitated by the implementation of the requirements of the acquis communitaire for increased transparency of the companies’ ultimate owners/ shareholders, with the purpose of prevention of illegal activities, incl. money laundering and tax evasion. In this paper we will review the causes and specifics of this change in one of the main institutes of company commercial law.

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»CREATION AND STORAGE OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS IN THE EMPLOYЕЕ’S FILE
With State Gazette, No. 40 dated 15 May 2018, Ordinance on the Type and Requirements for the Creation and Storage of Electronic Documents in the Employee’s File of the Worker and Employee (the Ordinance). The Ordinance is effective as of 19 May 2018 and is adopted on the ground of Art. 128b, Para. 3 of the Labour Code, which provides for the legal opportunity a part of the documents in the employee’s file to be created and stored as electronic documents. In case the employer decides to use this legal opportunity, he shall undertake actions on securing the process with the necessary documents and technical means.

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»FOREIGN PLEDGERS UNDER THE SPECIAL PLEDGES ACT SHALL BE REGISTERED IN THE BULSTAT REGISTER
A new Act for Amendments and Supplementations to the BULSTAT Register Act has been promulgated in State Gazette issue 57/ 10.07.2018. It supplements the range of entities that are subject to registration in the BULSTAT register. The changes are mainly due to the forthcoming digitalization of the Central Registry of Special Pledges (CRSP), which was initiated by the amendments and supplementations to the Special Pledges Act (SG 105/2016). The CRSP administration ceases to exist as a separate legal entity within the Minister of Justice and shall be transferred to the Registry Agency, which is accompanied by the digitalization of the special pledges register, aiming to create an opportunity for provision of electronic services in compliance with the requirements of the Electronic Governance Act.

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»NEW EU DIRECTIVE TO IMPLEMENT COMMON PROCEDURES REGARDING MOVING, MERGING AND DIVIDING OF COMPANIES WITHIN THE EU
A Proposal for a directive amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 as regards cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions has been published by the European Commission. The Proposal introduces common procedures at the EU level on how private and public limited liability companies can move from one Member State to another, merge or divide into two or more new entities across borders, whereas in the meantime adequate protection is ensured to employees, creditors and minority shareholders. If the amendments are adopted by the EU, companies will be able to move their seat from one Member State to another following a simplified procedure.

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»THE BILL FOR AMENDMENT AND SUPPLEMENTATION OF THE PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT WAS SUBMITTED TO PARLIAMENT
On 18 July 2018, the updated Bill form Amendment and Supplementation of the Personal Data Protection Act (the Bill) was submitted for discussion to the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. It aims at harmonizing our national data protection legislation with the new features of the pan-European data protection regime introduced by Regulation (EC) 2016/679 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data.

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»BY MEANS OF DECISION C210/16 THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CLARIFIED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FACEBOOK PAGE ADMINISTRATORS
On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) announced its decision regarding a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Federal Administrative Court of Germany arising from the dispute between the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Independent Data Protection Authority, Germany and the Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein GmbH. The decision is the first one in the field of personal data protection within the framework of EU law following the official commencement of the implementation of EU Regulation 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 and clarifies some issues regarding the extent of the responsibility of the personal data controller, regarding personal data collected through a fan page hosted on a social network website.

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»AMENDMENTS AND NOVELTIES IN THE DRAFT BILL FOR AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTATION OF THE PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT
A number of amendments to the current Personal Data Protection Act are provided in order to bring the national legislation into compliance with the European requirements for the protection of personal data of individuals, set out in the Regulation 2016/679, which has recently come into force. Some of the provided amendments fill out gaps and bring clarity to the matter governed by the Regulation. Others, however, introduce contradictions.

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»NEW EU DIRECTIVE TO FACILITATE COMPANY REGISTRATION AND FILINGS BY ENTIRELY ONLINE PROCEDURES
A proposal for a directive amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 regarding the use of digital tools and processes in company law has been published by the European Commission. In case the new directive is adopted, EU Member-States shall be obliged to ensure that all company registrations and filings can be completed entirely online, without the applicant being required to appear in person before any public body. Other proposed amendments include the possibility Member-States to refuse the appointment as company director of a person, who is disqualified from acting as a director in another Member-State. Among the newly-proposed provisions, there are some aiming to broaden the free-of-charge access to company data by requiring the Member-States to make available online more information than before.

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»SOME ISSUES REGARDING THE LIMITATION PERIOD WITHIN THE ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS
The expiration of the limitation period exhausts the possibilities for initiation of enforcement proceedings for collection of the receivables of the creditors. Therefore the issues regarding the discontinuation and the suspension of the limitation period are essential. As of the present moment there are some questions regarding the limitation period within the enforcement procedure, which are subject of contradictory interpretation by the courts.

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»ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTS UNDER ART. 38 OF THE ACCOUNTANCY ACT IN THE COMMERCIAL REGISTER
With regard to the 2017 annual closing of accounts the enterprises under the Accountancy Act shall announce the respective documents under Art. 38 of the said Act (e.g. annual financial statements, annual activity report, auditor’s report, etc.) not later than 30 June 2018. How shall be done this and what are the penalties for failure to perform the said requirement?

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»REGISTRATION OF INFORMATION IN THE COMMERCIAL REGISTER REGARDING THE BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF COMPANIES PURSUANT TO THE NEW MEASURES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING ACT
A new Measures Against Money Laundering Act (MAMLA) has been promulgated in State Gazette issue 27/27.03.2018. The new act contains provisions regarding the application of wider measures, aiming for publicity regarding the information concerning the beneficial owners of companies, registered in the country. These measures impose a series of practical questions. One such question is related with the above-mentioned publicity – will it constitute an unjustified risk for some beneficial owners? And which normative acts are expected to be amended following the new requirements? In the present article some of the practical questions raised by the enactment of the new MAMLA shall be examined.

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»ARBITRATION IN INVESTMENT DISPUTES SETTLEMENT

In view of the media and social commotion regarding the forthcoming sale of the companies of the CEZ group in Bulgaria, information has reached the wider public of the existing, and still pending, international arbitration proceedings for investors protection, brought by Czech company CEZ and the Austrian EVN versus the Republic of Bulgaria for violations of the bilateral Agreement for Protection of the Investments between Bulgaria and Austria and of the multilateral international Energy Charter Treaty, in which the claims are of significant value.

By stroke of chance, at the same time a new decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court of the EU) was handed down in this area, which may reverse the current well-established judicial and arbitration case-law regarding the issues of validity and admissibility of such mechanisms for settlement of investors’ disputes, as provided for in at present over 190 Bilateral Investment-protection Treaties (BITs) between member states of the EU.

In the following we shall highlight briefly the nature of the out-of-court means for solving of investment disputes, follow the history of the concept of BIT as a valid obligation of the member states of the EU, and take a look of the more interesting arguments from the decision of the Court of the EU in the Achmea BV case.

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»LATEST AMENDMENTS REGARDING THE EU BLUE CARD
With the Amendments and Supplementation Act to the Ministry of the Interior Act, promulgated in State Gazette issue 97/ 05.12.2017, amendments were adopted to the permit the EU Blue card, and namely: the term of validity of the permit has been considerably increased; the requirement for the foreign citizen to reside outside the territory of Bulgaria until the receiving of a decision by the Employment Agency has been repealed; the amount of the state fee has been considerably decreased. The amendments came into force on 9 December 2017.

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»TRANSFER OF ENTERPRISES OR COMPANY SHARES – ONLY AFTER A DECLARATION FOR LACK OF UNPAID REMUNERATIONS TO THE EMPLOYEES
Counted as of 16 February 2018, the transfer of a commercial enterprise or company shares of limited liability companies will be possible only upon submission of declarations for lack of unpaid remunerations, compensations and statutory social security contributions to their employees. The declarations shall be submitted by using of approved samples, which are already published on the website of the Registry Agency. Notary certification of the declarers' signatures is not required.

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»AMENDMENTS IN THE LABOUR CODE, effective as of 22 December 2017
With State Gazette, No. 102 dated 22 December 2017, amendments to the Labour Code were adopted. They become effective as from the day of their publication in the State Gazette, with some exceptions. With the Act for Amendments and Supplementations of the Labour Code certain amendments in other legal acts have been made. The amendments in the Labour Code and the other legal acts are mainly aimed at creating mechanisms for protection of the right of the employees to receive the due remunerations and compensations.

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»LUXURY BRANDS MAY PROHIBIT SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTORS FROM RE-SELLING ON 3-RD PARTY INTERNET PLATFORMS
On 6 December 2017 the EU Court of Justice (the CoJ) handed down its preliminary ruling in the case of Coty Germany GmbH vs. Parfümerie Akzente GmbH (Case C-230/16), which provided much needed and awaited guidance in the areas of vertical restraints, online sales and selective distribution.

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