Sanctions in agricultural land regime postponed

By virtue of amendments of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural Land Act (OUALA) dated 20 February 2015 the legislator introduced solid sanctions in case of breach of the restrictions concerning ownership over agricultural land provided for:

  • Bulgarian companies having as direct or indirect shareholders foreign companies registered in jurisdictions with preferential tax regime;
  • Bulgarian companies having as shareholders foreign individuals, who are not nationals of EU / EEA Member State, or respectively having as shareholders foreign entities, which are not registered in an EU / EEA Member State, and
  • Joint stock companies registered in Bulgaria, which have issued bearer shares

The initial sanction introduced for all Bulgarian companies breaching the above prohibition has the amount of BGN 100 per each 1 000 square meters agricultural land owned and it is increased thrice in case the breach is not remedied within a period of 3 (three) months after the first sanction.

With latest amendments to the law, which were promulgated in the State Gazette on 28 April 2015, the Parliament postponed by 5 months the effective date of the provisions introducing the abovementioned sanctions. Thus, the sanctions shall enter into force starting from 01 October 2015 instead of 01 May 2015.