KEY PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BUSINESSES IN BULGARIA UNDER THE "SEMA"

KEY PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BUSINESSES IN BULGARIA UNDER THE "SEMA"
  • 26 Mar 2020

On 23.03.2020 the Bulgarian Parliament finally adopted the State of Emergency Measures Act providing for various legal and administrative measures to mitigatenegative impact of COVID-19 pandemic (the “SEMA”). The SEMA shall be deemed in force as of 13.03.2020, when the state of emergency has been officially declared by the Bulgarian Government and the law shall be in effect till calling off of said emergency state. The measures under the SEMA could be summarized as follows:
 

Legal Terms/Licenses Suspension

 

All terms under pending legal proceedings at the court or arbitration

 

Any legal prescription terms on termination of rights or assuming of liabilities to private parties

 

Tax legal prescription terms on establishing taxes and social security payments (no new tax collection proceedings)

 

Compliance terms in administrative procedures set by administrative bodies to private parties

 

Terms of validity of any expiring license or permit shall be extended by 1 month upon state of emergency termination

 

Business/Contract Related

 

No freezing/seizure of personal bank accounts, pensions and salary payments, movable and immovable personal assets

 

Private parties shall not be liable for payment of interest and/or contractual penalties for delayed payments for the time of the state of emergency.

 

The aggrieved party shall not be entitled to terminate a private contract based on failure of the other party to pay.

 

Notary Deed transactions (real estates, enterprise, pledges, vehicles) and Notary Certifications (PoA/Declarations) are limited to absolute urgent

 

Tax Terms and Financial Filings

 

Corporate Tax declaration and payment extended by 30.06.2020

 

Personal Tax declaration and payment extended till 30.06.2020

 

Corporate Annual Financial Statements filing extended till 30.09.2020

 

No Business Activity Declarations filing extended till 30.06.2020

 

Labor and Employment

 

Remote work or home office shall not require consent of respective employees

 

Suspension of operations (full or in part) or suspension of work for specific employees, at discretion of the employer

 

Imposing of use of up to 1⁄2 of employees paid annual leave, at the discretion of the employer

 

Reimbursement by the State’s budget of 60% of the social security income (as of Jan. 2020) paid to the employees for up to 3 months. Criterion TBD.

 

Social Security

 

Suspension of all regulatory terms for insured person on execution of various social security payments

 

All documents and claims related to social security payments shall be filed via electronic signature, licensed courier, or personal identification code

 

Lack of ruling by the National Social Security Institute shall not be deemed silent refusal and shall not enable appeal

 

IDs & Residence Permits

 

Extension by 6 months of the validity of ID card and Driving Licenses, expiring between 13.03.-31.10.2020

 

Extension by 6 months of the validity of Bulgarian IDs for permanent, long- term and continuing residence of foreigners, expiring between 13.03.- 31.10.2020