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Varadinov & Co.
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State Gazette, issue 46 /June 1st, 2018
The requirements of Directive 2014/50 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on minimum requirements for enhancing worker mobility between Member States by improving the taking-up and preservation of supplementary pension rights introduce amendments to the Social Code insurance. The pension insurance company is obliged to provide upon request a person insured in a fund for additional voluntary pension insurance or a fund for additional voluntary pension insurance under professional schemes with contributions of a person under Art. 230, para. 3, item 2 or 3 of CSR or a sponsor undertaking established under the legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria, within 7 days written information on:
1. the acquisition of rights to the funds in the individual account and the consequences in consequence of the termination of the legal relationship with the insurer;
2. the conditions governing the treatment of the funds in the individual account after the termination of the legal relationship, such as when the withdrawal of the funds prior to the acquisition of pension rights is permissible, the information includes also a written clause that the insured person should consider the possibility of consulting on the use of these funds for pension insurance.
The pension insurance company is obliged to provide, upon request, the heirs of a deceased insured person or pensioner to a supplementary voluntary pension insurance fund or supplementary voluntary pension insurance scheme under professional schemes within 7 days written information about the funds they receive from the individual account of the deceased and the conditions governing the treatment of those funds.
The insurer is obliged to provide his / her employees and the persons with whom management and control contracts have been concluded on request within 7 days written information on the applicable waiting period and its consequences upon termination of the legal relationship. In providing their employees and employees and the persons with whom management and control contracts have been concluded, the insurers may apply a waiting period of no longer than 6 months from the start of the legal relationship with the person concerned . “Waiting time” is a period of employment that is required under the rules of the insurance contract, collective agreement or collective agreement, or the insurer is required to start contributing to a supplementary voluntary pension fund insurance or fund for additional voluntary pension insurance under occupational schemes for the employee concerned or for the person concerned by which a contract for the assignment of management and control

State Gazette, issue 49 /June 12th, 2018
Extending the powers and speeding up the administrative appeal procedure foresee the latest changes in the Public Procurement Act. They are motivated by the too broad interpretation in the practice of the term “interested party” and the possibility of filing a complaint, on the basis of which the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) stops the proceedings. The delay in awarding public procurement procedures for months and years leads to the impossibility of spending funds on time, which causes property damage to the state budget through losses and lost profits.
There is a general liability for damages caused by unjustified damages in the event of abuse of rights. The provision is analogous to the Code of Civil Procedure, which requires the exercise of procedural rights in good faith. The implementation of the liability in respect of the participants will be possible after the final settlement of the disputes before the CPC and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), if a legal appeal is made.
The starting dates for time-limits for appealing certain acts are specified and an opportunity for electronic service of messages and summonses without paper signature is introduced. Thus, the parties will be deemed to be notified and the summonses and messages served if they are sent simultaneously to the email and fax numbers indicated by them. Among the mandatory requisites for the appeal is the requirement to include the unique number of the order in the Public Procurement Register in view of its future connection with the CPC register. Thus, the course of proceedings will be traceable also in the presence of an appeal procedure, and not only when selection and award are indisputable.
The essential requirement is for the applicant to justify and prove his status as an interested person. It is motivated by the vicious practice in which blank complaints are filed, which generally disagree with all the requirements of the assignor towards the losing participants in the procedure. This obliges the regulator to consider the entire decision of the contracting entity, including checking all the actions of the tender evaluation committee.
Suspension of proceedings is permissible not until the complaint has been received, as it has been before, but only after the proceedings have been instituted before the regulator. Thus, the proceedings will not be stopped by irregular complaints, pending the complainants’ deliberate elimination of the irregularities committed. The order for appeal of the preliminary admission of the public procurement by the CPC is also clarified. So far, the LPP did not explicitly state the procedure for judicial review, which gives rise to different interpretations - whether the Supreme Administrative Court should rule in one or two instances. In line with the proposed changes, the court proceedings should be closed at one instance.

State Gazette, issue 51 /June 19th, 2018

Updating the method for calculating interest rates on loans in connection with the dropping of the SOFBOR index as of 1.07.2018 foresees amendments in the Law on Credit Institutions. When an interest rate benchmark used by a bank for a reference interest rate under credit agreements changes substantially or is no longer being prepared, the Bank implements an action plan prepared under Art. 28 (2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/1011
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on Indexes Used as Benchmarks for Financial Instruments and Financing Contracts or for Measuring the Performance of Investment Funds. The Bank notifies the client of the changes to the credit agreement resulting from the application of the plan. At the time of application of the plan, the new interest rate under the credit agreement may not be higher than the interest rate on the contract before that
moment. These provisions also apply to existing contracts with legal entities that use a market index such as LIBOR, EURIBOR or SOFIBOR as a reference interest rate, unless otherwise agreed.

Similar amendments with special protection for borrowers are also introduced in the Consumer Credits Act. Where an interest rate benchmark used by a creditor for a reference interest rate under credit agreements is substantially changed or is no longer being prepared, the creditor shall implement an action plan prepared in accordance with the provisions of Art. 28 (2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016. The creditor shall notify the consumer of the changes to the credit agreement resulting from the application of the plan. At the time of application of the action plan, the new interest rate under the credit agreement may not be higher than the amount of the interest rate under the contract before that date. When the consumer has repaid his obligations under the credit agreement early due to a change in the contract resulting from the implementation of the action plan, compensation is not due.
The changes in the Consumer Credit Law are similar. The creditor notifies the user about the changes to the contract for the credit resulting from the implementation of the action plan. At the time of application, the new interest rate under the credit agreement may not be higher than the interest rate on the contract before that date.