Newsletter May 2020

The state of emergency in Bulgaria imposed due to the coronavirus continued until 13 May 2020. After that date The Bulgarian Government rescinded the state of emergency, however maintained a number of anti-epidemic measures. The latter are currently scheduled to be observed until 14 June 2020. As a result, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted a Law amending the Health Act (hereinafter the Law / Act), which was published in the State Gazette on 14 May. Of particular importance is the prescribed two months period after the repeal of the state of emergency (13 May), in which:

– all public sales announced by the state and private bailiffs are suspended. After the expiration of this term, the public sales are rescheduled, for which no fees and expenses are due;

– no restraints are imposed on bank accounts of municipalities;

– no interest and penalties are charged, the obligations cannot be due prematurely and the contracts cannot be terminated due to non-performance – in case there is a delay in payment of loan obligations of natural persons and legal entities to credit institutions. Notwithstanding this, the rule does not apply when the financing of the natural persons and legal entities is done by subsidiaries of the banks, including when the receivables are acquired by banks, financial institutions or third parties;

– the municipal councils may adopt decisions for reduction or complete exemption from payment of rental installments and payments for use of state and municipal property provided to natural persons and legal entities;

– the provisions of the Public Procurement Act do not apply.

The Law also stipulates that the Bulgarian Development Bank will manage the respective funds from the European Structural and Investment Funds during the programming period 2014-2020, however only when there is a special decision of the Council of Ministers in Bulgaria.

In the field of tourism the Act provides for subsidies to Bulgarian tour operators. Until 13 May 2022 every Bulgarian air carrier is entitled to a state subsidy of 35 euros for each seat on the aircraft. The condition is that the aircraft operates charter flights to the Republic of Bulgaria for the purpose of tourism and the flights have a capacity of not less than 100 seats. The Law stipulates that the summer season in Bulgaria will start on 1 June, and the concessionaire (tenant) of the beach is obliged to provide umbrellas and sunbeds to visitors with reduced prices of at least 50%, taking into account last year’s prices or maximum prices in the concession agreement.

The Act stipulates that all deadlines that have ceased to run during the state of emergency declared by the State of Emergency Act of 13 March 2020 shall continue to run after 20 May 2020.

The Law also proclaims that the deadline for submitting documents for prolongation of the long-term residence of foreigners in Bulgaria is extended. If the term of a foreigner with a long-term residence expires within three months from the rescision of the state of emergency – until 13 August, he/she has the right to apply for an extension of residence by that date.

The Act has adopted changes in the Labor Code- the unpaid leave of up to 60 working days, used in 2020, is considered a work experience.

The Law extends the period within which the Minister of Finance should make compatible the Law on Corporate Income Tax with the Regulations for Application of the Law on Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses and relevant regulations of the referred to Law. Harmonization of the legal framework between the above-mentioned normative acts shall take place within one month upon cease of the state of emergency – that is until 13 June.

Contributing Advisors