The American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria address the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Dontchev, and the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Desislava Taneva with a proposal for cancellation of Decree 70, April 14, 2020 of the Council of Ministers.
This decree introduces protectionists measures into the dairy market in Bulgaria, favorizing local dairy producers. It is a severe violation of the EU Common Market Rules, which was address solely and jointly by AmCham Bulgaria, by the French-Bulgarian Chamber, and Food Drink Bulgaria in April – May 2020. AmCham itself send two letters to two EU commissioners – Thierry Breton (Common Market) and Janusz Wojciechowski (Agriculture and Rural Development).
In May 2020, EC addressed Bulgaria that it violates the Common Market Rules. It was followed by a letter of formal notice to remove discriminatory measures obliging retailers to favor domestic products.
The decree itself has a deadline December 31st, 2020. However, AmCham Bulgaria decided to send this formal letter to the Government of Bulgaria and to insist cancellation of this document in order to be proactive and consistent. If Bulgaria does not comply with the EC’s recommendations, it is threatened with a court case in the European Court of Justice.
“We are witnessing that the introduced measures in Decree 70 did not lead to the expected commercial and legal effects. Since their origin is contradictory to the basic market principles, which are embedded in the national and the European legislation, they are threatening the legal certainty and violate the free market initiative, as well as the put in real danger free competition in the dairy market in Bulgaria. Therefore, Decree 70 is not needed, it is not expedient, and it should be cancelled.
Also, we would like to propose to the Government not to undertake any consecutive attempts to impose other protectionists or other harmful for the markets measures that could be introduced with reference to the Ordinance RD 01-655 / 13.11.2020 by the Minister of Healthcare and which introduces new anti-epidemic measures in Bulgaria till March 31st, 2020.