European Commission warns Bulgaria to get into line on tax rulings, anti-trust damages actions rules

Bulgaria is among European Union countries that the European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion because of its failure to communicate the transposition of new measures on the automatic exchange of tax rulings between EU tax authorities.

The step was announced by the European Commission on July 13, among its regular announcement of moves in the commission’s infringement packages.

Regarding the transposition of new measures on the automatic exchange of tax rulings, the EC reminded Bulgaria, as well as Cyprus and Portugal, that the measures should have been put in place by December 31 2016.

The new rules are designed to help clamp down on cross-border tax avoidance, aggressive tax planning and harmful tax competition.

The first exchange of information between all EU tax authorities is supposed to take place by September 2017.

The Commission has set the three countries a deadline of two months to reply.

In the absence of a satisfactory reply, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

The Commission will assess whether the legislation of all EU countries complies with all requirements of the new rules, it said in a statement.

Further, the European Commission has requested Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Malta and Portugal to fully implement the 2014 directive on antitrust damages actions into national law.

The commission said that this directive helps citizens and companies claim damages if they are victims of infringements of EU antitrust rules, such as cartels or abuses of dominant market positions.

Among other things, it gives victims easier access to evidence they need to prove the damage suffered and more time to make their claims.

The directive on antitrust damages actions is therefore an essential part of EU competition law enforcement, the Commission said.

EU countries were under an obligation to implement it into national law by December 27 2016.

The Commission said that on July 13, it was sending reasoned opinions to Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Malta and Portugal for failing to notify the Commission of their national transposition measures.

The seven EU member states now have two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to implement the directive. In the absence of a satisfactory reply, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Further, the European Commission said that on July 13, it had decided to send reasoned opinions to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus Finland and Greece for failure to notify complete transposition into their national legislation of the EU rules establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning.

Member states had to transpose the directive into national legislation and inform the Commission of such measures by September 18 2016.

“Competition for maritime space – for renewable energy equipment, fishing and aquaculture, tourism, raw material extraction, sea transport routes and other uses – has highlighted the need to manage European waters more coherently,” the Commission said.

“MSP works across borders and sectors to ensure human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way as well as to meet various ecological, economic and social objectives.”

The directive sets down EU countries’ common approach and minimum requirements to the planning of maritime areas.

Bulgaria and the other EU countries concerned have two months to comply with their obligations, following which the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice of the EU, the EC said.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)




The Sofia Globe staff

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