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State Gazette, issue 51 /June 5th, 2020
The new Law on the Management of the Agro-Food Chain introduces normative guarantees for comprehensive control over food quality. It regulates: the bodies carrying out the state policy, the official control and other official activities along the agro-food chain; the bodies performing risk assessment along the agri-food chain and exchange of information on the risk along the agri-food chain; the general requirements for carrying out official control and other official activities along the agro-food chain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria; the specific requirements for carrying out official control and other official activities on food on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria; the terms and conditions for the development and implementation of a Multiannual National Control Plan, as well as for sampling, designation of laboratories for the purposes of official control and national reference laboratories; the coordination and interaction of the bodies of the official control along the agro-food chain with other bodies; the implementation of administrative assistance and cooperation in the field of the agro-food chain between the competent authorities of the Republic of Bulgaria, the other Member States, the European Commission and the other institutions of the European Union; the use on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria of the official control information system (IMSOC) according to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 of 30 September 2019 laying down rules for the functioning of the official information management system control and its components; crisis and emergency measures in the agri-food chain; the financing of activities related to official control and other official activities in the agri-food chain.
The bodies implementing the state policy for the management of the agro-food chain are the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Economy. The heads of the respective departments within their competence and depending on the severity of the established violations shall apply one or several of the measures under Art. 138 (2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625. The control bodies shall issue an order for suspension of the activity of a site in which activity is carried out along the agro-food chain, when during the official control and other official activities it is established that: the site is not approved or registered according to the respective order; the persons carrying out activity along the agro-food chain have not paid the due fees, determined in the tariffs under the respective normative acts for a period longer than three months from the moment of occurrence of the obligation. The measures shall be applied by prescriptions and orders of the control officials. Upon elimination of violations for which measures have been applied and for which a prescription has been issued for prevention and elimination of the harmful consequences of the violation, the control body shall inspect and prepare a written record with an opinion for termination of the respective measure, a copy of which shall be served against signature. to the person performing activity on the agro-food chain or to a representative authorized by him. The measure shall be revoked by the higher administrative body or by an official authorized by it. Individual administrative acts are communicated and can be appealed under the Administrative Procedure Code. The appeal of the acts does not suspend their implementation.

The activities along the agro-food chain shall be carried out in sites, which are registered or approved by the order of the respective normative acts, and when for them has been issued: a permit for use under art. 177, para. 2 of the Spatial Development Act; certificate for putting into operation under art. 177, para. 3 of the Spatial Development Act; building permit under Art. 41, para. 1 of the Spatial Development Act - for outbuildings and secondary buildings; permission for placement under Art. 56, para. 2 of the Spatial Development Act - for the relocated sites. The greenhouses under Art. 151, para. 1, item 3 of the Spatial Planning Act shall be registered only on the basis of an application. Livestock farms - personal farms, are registered under the Law on Veterinary Medicine. The bodies of the official control along the agro-food chain are included in the composition of the expert councils for spatial planning and maintain public electronic registers of the registered and approved sites with provided free access via the Internet.

State Gazette, issue 52 /June 9th, 2020
A new Food Act regulates the rules for ensuring their quality and safety. The law regulates: the requirements for food safety; the requirements to the business operators and the persons, working in sites for production, processing and / or distribution of food; requirements for food packaging, labeling, presentation and advertising; the requirements for food production, processing and / or distribution; the requirements for the sites for production and wholesale trade and the requirements for retail trade in materials and objects intended for contact with food; food transportation requirements; distance food requirements; the requirements for natural mineral, spring and table waters; requirements for foods intended for infants and young children, foods for special medical purposes and foods containing vitamins, minerals and certain other substances; the requirements for food additives, enzymes and flavorings; the requirements for foods intended for use in intense muscular load; requirements for genetically modified foods; requirements for foods treated with ionizing radiation; the requirements for smoking flavorings used or intended for use in or on foods; requirements for novel foods; the conditions and the order for performing food banking; the official control bodies for the production, processing and / or distribution of food; the terms and conditions for food export; the functions of the National Food Council; the functions and powers of the branch organizations of food producers, processors and / or distributors; the requirements to the activity of the Conciliation Commission. The provisions of the law do not apply to: the primary production of food for personal consumption in the household; the preparation and storage at home of food intended for personal consumption in the household; the production, receipt, processing, labeling and trade in food under Art. 1 of the Wine and Spirits Act.
The state policy in the field of food safety is pursued by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, by the Minister of Health and by the Minister of Economy. Business operators who produce, process and / or distribute food are required to have information on the food, animals and materials used in the production, processing and / or distribution of food under their control. Business operators, with the exception of those performing primary production and pharmacies and drugstores, shall introduce, apply and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures in accordance with Art. 5 of Regulation (EC) № 852/2004 and Annexes II and III of Regulation (EC) № 853/2004 and technological documentation for the food they produce and / or national, established or industry standards. In the event of a foodborne illness, business operators shall provide the necessary assistance to the relevant regional health inspectorate and regional food safety directorate to limit and eradicate the disease. A person working in a site for production, processing and / or distribution of food shall be subject to preliminary and periodic medical examinations by the order of the ordinance under Art. 34, para. 3 of the Health Act. At least one person employed under a labor contract who has: higher or secondary special education in the field of the food industry, or professional qualification in the specialty in the field of the food industry in accordance with the requirements must work in a food production facility. of the Vocational Education and Training Act, or higher education in the professional field of “Veterinary Medicine”, or higher education in the specialty of “medicine” or “pharmacy”, when the object is for the production of food supplements, foods intended for use in intense muscle load. Only materials and articles shall be used for the packaging of foodstuffs, including active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs which comply with Regulation (EC) (1935/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004. on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

State Gazette, issue 57 /June 26th, 2020
The removal of non-household consumers from the regulated free market envisages changes in the Energy Act. The electronic platform for comparing electricity supply offers maintained by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission is a unified, central, public web-based information system that provides access to up-to-date information on electricity supply offers. End customers with an expected annual consumption of less than 100,000 kWh have free access to the platform for comparing electricity supply offers, including offers for contracts with a dynamic price of electricity. The platform must: provide conditions for equal treatment of electricity companies when comparing offers for electricity supply; provides criteria on the basis of which the comparison should be made, including services that are public; provide accurate and up-to-date information, including the date of the last update; is accessible to people with disabilities, easy to perceive, functionally adaptable, understandable and stable; provides an effective procedure for reporting inaccurate information about published tenders; make comparisons, the processing of personal data being limited to the data necessary for the comparison. As an operator of the platform, the commission adopts rules on the terms and conditions for its maintenance, the decisions for which are published on its website.
Electricity traders are obliged to provide the platform operator with up-to-date monthly information on their offers for end customers, as well as to provide information about the platform in customers’ invoices or in appendices to them. Upon initial registration on the electricity market, with the supply contract the customer authorizes the supplier to conclude on his behalf and at his expense contracts with the relevant network operator and the supplier of last resort, as well as to submit the application for initial registration. Contracts can also be concluded electronically with an electronic signature.