On April 7, 2012 Mr. Metodi Baykushev, Partner at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. Law Firm, was a guest lecturer at the Business Law Class of the Executive MBA programme of the American University in Bulgaria, Sofia. Examining various practical aspects of Bulgarian law, including litigation, corporate law and public procurement, Mr. Baykushev gave a number of useful hints to the rising managers at the lecture.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Meritas, a global alliance of business law firms. He was elected to the position at the alliance’s recent annual meeting.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov will participate in setting the Meritas’ strategy in his three-year term.
In his role as a Board member, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitrov will be responsible for reviewing and establishing the policy and setting the strategy for the alliance. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitrov will also act as an organizational leader, serving as a liaison to member firms on administrative issues. He will maintain contact with members, encourage and promote cross communications, and gather feedback on Meritas initiatives. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitrov will serve a three-year term, during which he will also be a part of the Member Relations & Marketing committee. The Meritas Board of Directors is comprised of 21 lawyers from its member firms around the world.
“We’re thrilled that Mr. Dimitrov will be joining the Meritas Board of Directors,” Tanna Moore, CEO of Meritas, said. “George has always been a strong advocate for the organization, and Meritas will continue to rely on his insights during strategic planning, business development, and member recruitment, retention and development efforts.”
Mr. Dimitrov has been involved with Meritas for 7 years.
Founded in 1990, Meritas is an international alliance of commercial law firms in 75 countries working across jurisdictions to provide clients the best of both worlds: a local legal partner with full service capabilities and the cost efficiency and personal attention unmatched by mega law firms. Each member law firm is required to adhere to rigorous and specific service standards on a regular basis. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Meritas has 175 member firms worldwide and more than 7,000 lawyers. To find a Meritas law firm or for more information, visit www.meritas.org or call +1 (612) 339-8680.
Decision No 2487 from 27.02.2012 by the Supreme Administrative Court
In the State Gazette, issue 29 of April 10, 2012 a Decision No 2847 from 27.02.2012 by the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) was promulgated.
With the specified decision SAC partially repealed Art. 2, Para 4, item 4 of Regulation No H-19 of 02.12.2008 on the procedures for exemption of vignette charges on the use of national roads (Regulation No H-19) which provides that an identity card or passport of the applicant should be presented together with the application in case it is filed by a proxy.
In the motives of the decision SAC took into consideration the fact that the requirement of Art. 2, Para 4, item 4 of Regulation No H-9 pursuant to which an identity document of the authorizer should be presented together with the identity document of the authorized person contradicts the provision of Art. 11 of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act, which provides that no one has the right to give or accept as a security, as well as to use another’s Bulgarian identity document or assign one to another person.
The importance of the SAC decision is in its being an attempt to overcome the unlawful practice of some of the Bulgarian authorities to require submission of original identity document of the authorizer when legal actions are carried out by his/her proxy.
Act for Amendment and Supplement to the Renewable Energy Act
The Act for Amendment and Supplement tî the Renewable Energy Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) was promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 29 of April 10, 2012 and has been in force since that date, except for § 3, which comes into force on April 1, 2013.
Art. 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e and 20f are created, which come into force on April 1, 2013. Art. 20a provides that the activities of installation, maintenance, repairs and reconstruction of energy facilities in sites under Art. 24, Para 1, items 1 and 2 should be performed by persons who are recorded in the register of persons engaged in such an activity kept by the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance (SAMTS) and who have received a certificate for that from the Chairman of the Agency or from officials authorized by the latter. Art. 20b, Para 1 lists the persons who shall be registered. The subsequent paragraphs of Art. 20b specify the conditions under which entry in the register is made and the circumstances subject to registration, and also the circumstances under which a removal from the register and an invalidation of the certificate issued are made. In Àrt. 20c the obligations of registered persons are listed. Art. 20d regulates the inspections for compliance to the obligations of the registered persons, performed by SAMTS. Such inspections must be performed once every two years, and also upon receipt of signals, complaints or suggestions from other supervisory authorities, citizens and organizations. Art. 20e indicates that the procedure for issuing the certificate and entry in the register, as well as for the performed inspections shall be determined by an order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism following a proposal of the chairman of SAMTS.
Art. 21, Para 5 undergoes amendment according to which the state educational requirements for acquiring the necessary qualifications shall be determined in an ordinance issued by the Minister of Education, Youth and Science, and § 23 of the Transitional and Final Provisions (TFP) indicates that this ordinance should be issued within two months from the entry into force of the Act.
A new Art. 67a is created, and its Para 1 and 2 set out the coercive administrative measures imposed on the registered persons who do not comply with their obligations under Art. 20c. Para 3 provides measures for the persons who perform activities under Art. 20a without being registered and without having a certificate issued.
In the Supplementary Provisions to the Act item 20a is created, which indicates when there is systematic violation of the Act and the acts on its application.
Art. 10 of the TFP indicates that within a 6-month term after the approval of the 10-year plan for development of the network, the electricity system operator should publish on its website the plan as well as the coordinated schedules for the accession of individual producers, and Art. 11 provides obligation for updating the published information for the acceded producers and the accession candidates.
In § 21 of the TFP amendments to the Spatial Planning Act are made, and with § 22 such are made in the Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act.
Act for Amendment and Supplement to the Environment Protection Act (AASEPA)
The Act for Amendment and Supplement to the Environment Protection Act was promulgated in the SG, issue 32 of April 24, 2012. The amendments regard the elaboration and acceleration of the procedure of issuance of environmental impact assessments. A lighter procedure for prevention of major industrial accidents is introduced.
There is a new Para 9 to Art. 62, according to which the exchange of information between the enterprise for management of environment protection activities and the income administrators is organized and carried out with an instruction by the Minister of Environment and Water. In the cases of resumption of ceased activities, which damage the environment, penalties could be imposed not only by the Minister, but by persons, authorized by him/her as well.
The amendments of Art. 82 regard the regulation of the environmental assessment and the environmental impact assessment. According to the new Para 6, the procedures for issuance of an environmental impact assessment could be discontinued at any stage if inadmissibility of the investment proposal, project or programme is established. The time limit, in which the Minister of Environment and Water and the director of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) must issue a decision on the admission of environmental assessment, is decreased from two months to 30 days. The preparation of the assessment is entrusted to the assigner of the project. The public register, managed by the Minister of Environment and Water and the RIEW contains the information about the procedures of environmental assessments. A new Para 6 to Art. 93 creates an obligation for the assigner to notify the competent authorities of any change in the circumstances, under which the decision on the determination of the need of environmental impact assessment has been issued. Art. 94 specifies the competence of the Minister of Environment and Water and the RIEW directors on taking decisions about the environmental impact assessments. Access to the contents of the assessments is provided on the web page of the respective authority and in accordance with the Access to Public Information Act.
The amendments, regarding the prevention of major incidents, shall enter into force on January 1, 2013. An important amendment, which is introduced with the AASEPA, is that the permit regime at the enterprises which have low risk potential is replaced by the lighter notification regime.
The amendments and supplements, regarding the terms and procedure of issuance of integrated permits, as well as the control thereon, enter into force on January 7, 2014.
The reporting of reduced units of greenhouse gas emissions, generated by the approved activities on projects, is set in compliance with Commission Regulation (EC) 2216/2004.
The assumption of voluntary commitments by the organizations is also set in compliance with the EU legislation.
The registration of organizations is executed with an ordinance, issued by the Minister of Environment and Water, according to the requirements of Regulation (EC) 1221/2009. The RIEW directors exert control on the implementation of Regulation (EC) 1221/2009 and Regulation (EC) 66/2010.
The new Art. 154a regulates the competence of the respective RIEW with regard to the elaboration of projects on the examination of installations, as well as the execution of ad hoc examinations on the grounds of received signals and complaints.
There are new provisions, regarding the usage of the EU Ecolabel and the label of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (ÅMAS) and respectively the sanctions for the infringement of the requirements of the above mentioned EU regulations.
New definitions are introduced for a number of terms and existing ones are amended in the Supplementary provisions.
The projects for removal of damages caused to the environment as a result of past actions or inactions during the privatization process must be implemented no later than December 31, 2020. Every project, which has not been started or has not been completed by this date, shall be ceased.
There are amendments to the appendices in the Transitional and Final Provisions as well.
Act for Amendment and Supplement to the Public Procurement Act
In the State Gazette, issue 33 from April 27, 2012, the Act for Amendment and Supplement to the Public Procurement Act was promulgated.
The new Para 2 to Art. 3 introduces new objects of public procurement: supply of military equipment, supply of sensitive equipment, services and construction works directly relating to the supply of military equipment or to the supply of sensitive equipment, services and works related to specific military aims or specific construction works and specific services.
According to the new Para 2 to Art. 9 a candidate or tenderer cannot be removed from a public procurement award procedure because of his/her status or legal organizational form when he/she has the right to provide this service, supply or construction works in the Member State he/she is established in.
Art. 14 introduces amendments to the national thresholds, above which the procedures of the Public Procurement Act are compulsory. They are subject to a raise of around 15 percent. In Para 2 new thresholds are introduced for the public procurement objects under Art. 3, Para 2: for works – equal to or higher than BGN 4,000,000; for supplies, services and project competition – equal to or higher than BGN 400,000.
The amendments and supplements to Art. 16c create new incentives regarding the right of specialized enterprises and cooperatives of disabled people to participate in public procurement award procedures.
By virtue of this amendment the requirements of Directive 2009/81/EC are introduced, regulating the assignment of certain contracts in the fields of defence and security. The assignment procedure for these procurements is governed by the newly created Part Three “a” of the Public Procurement Act (Art 119a – 199o). It is stipulated that those procurements shall be assigned through a limited procedure and a contracting procedure with prior notification (Art. 119c, Para 1). An open procedure is not provided. A procurement may be assigned through a competitive dialogue and contracting without notice if there are statutory grounds.
New requirements regarding defence and security are established with Art. 119e, 119f and 119g. Those provisions govern the protection of classified information, the security of supplies and the rules for selection of subcontractors. Art. 119f, Para 1 requires the tenderers to prove their capacities to export, transfer and transit the goods subject to the procurement, as well as an additional capacity in the event of crisis.
By virtue of the new Art. 119b, Para 3 the responsibility for the compliance with the law of the conducted procedure is borne by the central body and the contracting authority. The central body is responsible for concluding the framework agreement, and each contracting authority for the different contracts.