Improvement of legal framework, concerning the implementation of activities for creating, approving and maintaining the cadastral map and the cadastral registers, easier ways of servicing natural and legal persons with data from the cadastre, protection against bureaucratization of the process and application of corrupt practices. These are the three main objectives of the published in the latest issue of “State Gazette” amendments to the Cadastre and Property Register Act (CPRA).
In pursuance of the provisions of Directive 2006/123/EC, concerning the provision of services in the internal market, the discriminatory practice for providers of services related to land registers – to service only Bulgarian natural and legal persons, shall be terminated. These services will also be available for persons from a country – member of the European Union, from another country – party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation. In case where a qualified person is a natural person, it will not be required to register as a merchant.
Specialized maps will be developed together with the cadastral map, which will result in significant financial savings. Relieved is the order of creation and completion of the cadastral map and cadastral registers as to shorten deadlines and avoid permissible errors. There are certain cases in which the amendments will be carried out without issuing an order. An order will be needed only in case of omission or error and as to speed up the procedure in these cases the issuance of a sole act for errors or omissions is not required.
The Agency of Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (AGCC) has provided an opportunity for free receiving of data through its information system – such as the data for points of the geodetic basis of the cadastral map and cadastral registers. Regulated are principles in the area of digitalization of existing Detailed Site Development Plans in conjunction with the Territory Planning Act and also in the area of assessing the accuracy by tracing elements from these plans, which should significantly limit the conduct of litigation in court.
Cadastre objects will also be the facilities of the technical infrastructure, in which there is a separate object and also the separate objects in them. The cadastre will contain information on areas of restrictions on land, which emanate from servitude or restriction, arising out of regulatory or administrative acts. Cadastral data for the real estate will be supplemented by data for servitudes, rights of way, security zones and other restrictions on real estate.
An opportunity to serve citizens and legal persons in other places than those so far – the headquarters of district courts, has been created in order to improve administrative services performed by the AGCC. Official documents can be requested and received from citizens in every part of the country, regardless of the location of the property. Cadastre services can be requested and received electronically, providing the opportunity for free viewing and searching for cadastral objects via the Internet. Notaries are granted remote access to the cadastral information system, with the result that they can not only consult but also receive official documents.
To ensure prevention and safety in compliance with the legal requirements by the natural persons and officials, the amount of fines in administrative penal provisions has been increased. Relevant amendments to the Geodesy and Cartography Act, the Protection of Classified Information Act, the Water Act, the Cultural Heritage Act and the Ownership and Use of Agricultural Lands have been made in order to synchronize the bill with other acts.
The recent amendments of the Penal Code transpose the Directive 2009/52/ЕC of the European Parliament and the Council of 18.06.2009 providing on minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals. Art. 227 of the Penal Code provides for a sanction imprisonment of up to four years and a financial penalty up to two thousand BGN for a person who hires at the same time five or more third-country nationals illegally staying in Bulgaria, including the cases where the person hiring the third-country nationals is aware that the latter are victims of people trafficking. The sanction rises to five years of imprisonment and between five thousand and fifteen thousand BGN financial penalty in cases of systematic hiring of one or more illegally staying third-country nationals.
Two new chapters have been introduces into the Commercial Navigation Code – regulating the responsibility of the ship owners for damages caused by pollution with ship fuel as well as the insurance of the ship owner for maritime claims.
The amendments provide that the owner of ship sailing under Bulgarian flag with a gross tonnage 300 and over and undertaking commercial activity, shall have an insurance regarding the maritime claims subject to limitation of liability according to the Protocol of 1996 to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims of 1976.
In cases of damages caused by pollution of ship fuel the compensation shall encompass the direct loss up to the amount of the expenditures necessary for recreation of the environment, as well as the expenditures for the preventive measures undertaken to limit the damages and the loss incurred thereof. The compensation shall not exceed the amount of the insurance, covering the liability of the ship owner for damages caused by pollution.
Series of amendments of the Labour Code have been enacted to regulate the personnel leasing (work through an undertaking which provides temporary employment), the working from home as well as the working from distance using information technologies.
Some of the specific conditions for leasing of personnel include: the employer lessor of personnel is allowed to lease to the employer - lessee up to 30% of lessor`s total number of employees. The labour contracts shall be concluded for a temporary period of time respectively – until the completion of a certain task or in cases of substitution of an employee absent from work – until his/her return.
The leasing of personnel shall not be admissible: i) for the first and second category of work; ii) in undertakings related to the national security and defense; iii) in undertakings on strike.
The law prohibits the stipulation into the lease contract of any limitations for the employer lessee and the leased employee to enter into labour relationship - both during the effect of the lease contract and after the end of the leasing period.
The undertaking which provides the temporary employment shall not be entitled to require a payment of a fee by the leased employee for the collaboration for finding a job into the lessee undertaking.
The new Gambling Act entering into force in the end of June 2012 will introduce for the first time in Bulgaria a regulation of the gambling from a distance performed through telecommunication equipment, whereby the participants gamble directly through internet or other electronic communication means. The law provisions require the location on the territory of the country of a controlling local server storing all the data related to the offering of gambling services, the games and the participants from the Bulgarian territory. The specific requirements also provide for direct access to the data stored on the server for the National Revenue Agency, Ministry of Interior and the Commission on Gambling.
An article regarding the enterprise liability in insolvency proceedings in Bulgaria written by the Managing Partner of Varadinov and Partners Javor Varadinov and the associates in Varadinov and Partners Yanislava Chankova–Docheva and Zoya Zlatkova has been published in The European Lawyer Reference, Multinational Enterprise Liability in Insolvency Proceedings, Jurisdictional comparisons, Second edition 2010, General Editor J. William Boon.
An article regarding the Bulgarian Employment and Labour Law written by the the associates in Varadinov and Partners Yanislava Chankova–Docheva and Yulia Vesselinova has been published in The European Lawyer Reference, Employment and Labour Law, Jurisdictional comparisons, Third edition 2010, General Editor Dame Janet Gaymer.
With the latest amendments of the Electronic Communications Act the number of the Regulation of Communications Commission’s members has been decreased from 9 to 5 and the duration of their mandate has been decreased from 6 to 5 years. These amendments are part of a program for optimizing the public administration expenditures announced by the legislative and executive authority.
A number of important amendments have been introduced in the Design Act. The state register of industrial design shall be published on the internet site of the Patent office as of the date 11th February 2011.
A possibility for a delayed publication of a design registration has been instituted. The applicant of a design shall be entiteled to request a delayed publication of the design registration together with the application, in case that the design will be registered within a term of 30 months as of the date of the application submission, respectively as of the priority date. More detailed rules for the submission of an international application have been provided for.
The applications for design registration shall be submitted via post, fax ot Internet as of the date 11th of February 2011.
Limits in the amount of the managers’s remunerations in trade companies with state participation in the capital have been provided as of the date April 1st, 2010. The total amount of the remuneration of the members of the board of directors, the supervision and the managing boards of the sole owned joint stock companies with state participation shall not exceed five times the amount of the minimal monthly salary, defined in the countru for the respective month (currently BGN 240). The total amount of the remuneration of the executive members and the managing boards members authorized to represent the company shall not exceed ten times the amount of the minimal monthly salary. The total amount of the remuneration of the managers of sole owned limited liability companies shall not exceed seven times the amount of the minimal monthly salary, and the controller’s remuneration in such companies - four times the minimal monthly salary.