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McGregor & Partners Newsletter – June 2015

In focus in Bulgarian legislation

Law on supplement of the Markets in financial instruments act (SG 34 as of 12.5.2015)

The National Assembly adopted the amendments to the MFIA, with which the limits for acquisition of agricultural land to the Farm lands ownership and use act will not apply to public companies. With the introduced amendments the fines of 100 leva per acre for companies with agricultural lands, which have shareholders from countries outside the European Union and the European Economic Area, will drop, as they already can freely acquire and own agricultural lands in our country.

Bill of the Law on supplement of the Obligations and contracts act

The bill provides a new article, which introduces a ten year limitation period for extinction of all unsecured claims against individuals (does not apply for sole traders), regardless of the interruption of the limitation period, except in the cases, when the obligation is deferred or rescheduled. The main reasons of the importers of the proposed change are the introduction of an alternative to the missing in our country system for physical bankruptcy, as well as elimination of the figure of the “eternal debtor.” The new text aims to give the citizens a chance to start to build cleanly in one period their family economy, without prejudicing the interests of the creditors, because ten years is a long period of time in which they can actually collect their receivables.

News on European Union Law

The amended Rules of Procedure of the General Court are published in the EU Official Journal – L105 23.04.2015, whose purpose is to equip the General Court gradually with provisions enabling it to deal under the best possible conditions with different kinds of cases falling within increasingly varied areas.

Council Directive (EU) 2015/652 of 20 April 2015 laying down calculation methods and reporting requirements pursuant to Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels is published in the EU Official Journal – L107 25.04.2015. The Directive lays down rules on calculation methods and reporting requirements in accordance with Directive 09/70/EC, as it applies to fuels used to propel road vehicles, non-road mobile machinery (including inland waterway vessels when not at sea), agricultural and forestry tractors, recreational craft when not at sea and electricity for use in road vehicles.

An Opinion of the European Committee of Regions – an EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020 is published in the EU Official Journal – C140 28.04.2015, in which the seven main strategic objectives are determined: a) to further consolidate national strategies; b) to facilitate compliance with health and safety at work legislation, particularly by micro and small enterprises; c) better enforcement of health and safety at work legislation by Member States; d) to simplify existing legislation; e) to address the ageing of the workforce and emerging new risks; f) to improve statistical data collection and develop the database; g) to better coordinate EU and international efforts.

There is preparation for adoption of Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on insolvency proceedings, as the position of the Council at first reading and the statement of the reasons are published in the EU Official Journal – C141 28.04.2015. The Regulation shall apply to public collective proceedings, including interim proceedings. The Regulation shall not apply to proceedings that concern insurance undertakings, credit institutions, investment firms and other firms, institutions and undertakings to the extent that they are covered by Directive 2001/24/EC, or collective investment undertakings.