Newsletter February 2020

  • 21/02/2020 14:39
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As of the second half of February 2020 new rules on currency regime are in force in Bulgaria. One of the significant legislative changes is that when a person transfers cash in the amount of BGN 30,000 or more or its equivalent in a foreign currency to a third country, the customs authorities require ex officio information on the presence or absence of obligations and where the information provided contains evidence of public debt in excess of BGN 5,000, the customs authorities shall not allow the transfer of funds.

On the other hand, changes in the Currency Act provide for the establishment of a new public register – Register for persons engaged in the production, processing and transactions with precious metals and precious stones and articles by occupation. The register shall be kept in an electronic form and shall be published on the website of the Ministry of Economy. In this regard, according to the new rules – when traders registered under the Commerce Act or under the legislation of a Member State of the European Union or of another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, as well as legal entities created on the basis of a legal normative act, extract, process and have transactions with precious metals and precious stones and articles made with these by occupation, the latter circumstance must be explicitly pointed out in their object of activity.

The entirely new Article 13a specifies that gold and silver products made in the country or imported from another country for commercial purposes are subject to verification in order to determine the content of pure gold and silver (titer) in accordance with a special Ordinance of the Council of Ministers. Gold items are only traded in commercial sites located in buildings or other stationary buildings, with the exception of items sold by their manufacturers of folk crafts.

In addition to the above amendments, new prerogatives are envisaged to the Executive Director of the National Revenue Agency or to persons authorized by him who have the rights to:

  • issue written instructions for elimination of violations of the Currency Act or its implementing regulations within a specified period;
  • apply compulsory administrative measures - sealing the commercial premises of persons other than banks.

The powers of the Executive Director of the National Revenue Agency prior to the legislative changes were the responsibility of the Minister of Economy.

 

The amount of fines for failure to be declare before the customs authorities the transfer of precious metals and precious stones, as well as cash in excess of the minimums stipulated in the Currency Act has been changed. The new fines for such breach are - for natural persons, legal entities and sole traders in the amount of one fifth of the value of the undeclared cash or precious metals and precious stones and articles made with them, unless the act constitutes a crime. Prior to the changes in the Currency Act the amount of the fine for such violations varied between BGN 1000 and 3000, unless the act qualifies as a crime.

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