On 22 January 2020, the Bulgarian parliament adopted amendments to the Administrative Regulation for the Economic Activities Related to the Oil and Oil Products Act (Fuel Act), which sets the requirements for companies involved in the trading, storage and distribution of oil and oil products and regulates the way in which oil-industry firms are able to register with the Ministry of Economy.

New registration requirements

Overall, the new act eases requirements to oil companies. Previously, registration requirements for companies in terms of financial standing and security were equal for all market players, regardless of their income from sales. This has changed with the revised law. Now, the ability to register as a participant in this industry depends on the company's net income from sales for the previous year.

The value of the assets or registered capital that а company must have for initial registration is now between BGN 50,000 (EUR 25,000) and BGN 1 million (EUR 511,000). The security to be provided upon filing for registration is now between BGN 15,000 (EUR 7,600) and BGN 500,000 (EUR 255,000). Previously, the security was BGN 500,000 for all companies.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution companies may now hold 1,000 bottles in inventory where previously this number was 10,000 bottles.

The new Fuel Act now contains a remedy procedure whereby if a registered individual no longer complies with requirements, they will be given 14 business days to correct their activities and comply. Previously, non-compliance resulted in immediate deletion from the register.

Next steps

All initiated procedures will be concluded under the revised rules. In addition, the Ministry of Economy must update by-laws within two months. In 3 months as of entry into force of the amended by-laws, all companies that have not already been registered must submit application for registration.

For more information on the revised Fuel Act and opportunities in Bulgaria's oil-and-gas sector, contact your regular CMS advisor or the local CMS experts: Kostadin Sirleshtov and Denitsa Dudevska.

This article was published with the cooperation of Zornitsa Stoykova, Trainee at CMS Sofia.