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A video control system to monitor the annual inspections of vehicles will be introduced as of January 1, 2011
July 1, 2010

The National Assembly adopted at its meeting on 1 July 2010, at second reading, amendments to the Road Traffic Act. The changes introduce a video monitoring of the motor vehicles periodic technical inspections as of 1 January 2011. The act envisions the procedures for inspecting the motor vehicles to be recorded in the information system of the Executive Agency for Automobile Administration. The electronic information system will register in real time the results of the safety inspection of the particular motor vehicle, performed in the technical inspection station. The law also regulates the new categories of motor vehicles, the requirements for and the minimum age of drivers of motor vehicles. These changes are to take effect on January 19, 2013.

A fine of BGN 5000 is to be imposed to a shop not licensed to conduct inspections of motor vehicles but issuing documents for carried out technical inspections. The same fine is to be imposed on unlicensed driving instructors. Violations of the terms for carrying out the necessary psychological examinations will be punished by a fine or sanction of BGN 3000. A fine of BGN 2500 is envisaged for a trader who markets a motor vehicle without a certificate of type approval.

The parliament decided to abolish, as of July 1 of this year, the preferential price for use of power from combined energy sources, without achieving high efficiency. It decided also that the accession to central heating in a condominium will be done with the written consent of the owners of at least two thirds of the building, not by at least two thirds of the number of owners as it is currently. The latter changes were adopted with amendments to the Energy Act, passed at second reading. The amendments envisage that the heating meters may be owned either by the apartment (dwelling) owner or be rented out by the heating company.

The latest amendments to the Employment Encouragement Act passed at first reading reduce the period in which a redundant worker could register with the Office of unemployment from one year to six months. The proposal for the amendment was moved by the Council of Ministers as part of the anti-crisis measures agreed with the employers’ organizations and the trade unions. The period of apprenticeships, subsidized by the government, for young people who have completed their vocational training in the last two years and who lack work experience is extended from 6 to 9 months. Employers who hire foreigners without preliminary registration with the Employment Agency will be fined . The penalties are to be imposed on both the employer and the foreign nationals. The changes encourage employers to hire unemployed for the so called "green jobs", meaning in environmentally sound new plants or areas of production. Employers from the public sector administration, from the state and municipal enterprises will in the future be required to declare their vacancies in the local offices of the Employment Agency, as well as with private human resource placement companies. The law introduces additional requirements for licensing of private job placement companies – to have no debts towards the state or the local authorities, to have not been declared insolvent or not being in a state of liquidation.

Money from this year’s National Action Plan for Employment will be used to finance forecasts and demands of the labor market and for the remuneration of foreign experts, participating in examination committees for awarding of professional qualifications. The amendments further evisage funds from the EU Operational Programme “Development of Human Resources” to be provided to stimulate the economic activity, productivity and adaptability of those hired under the programme.

The final amendments to the Political Parties Act, passed by the parliament, reduce the state subsidy for 2010 for parties and coalitions by 15 percent. The funds allocated in the state budget for 2010 for political parties and coalitions were previously set at BGN 50.7 million. The implementation of the restriction will save to the budget BGN 7.5 million, making the amount of the subsidy BGN 43.2 million. The reduction in the annual subsidy will be at the expense of the remaining installments by the end of the year. This is how the political parties and coalitions will bear the burden of the financial crisis, together with the rest of the country, explains the Council of Ministers - the bill’s mover.
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