Brussels, 21 June 2012
Customs: Bulgaria asked to review terms of bilateral agreement with the United States
The European Commission has formally asked Bulgaria to put an end to certain duty and tax relief provisions contained in a bilateral agreement with the United States on technical assistance.
Prior to its accession to the EU, Bulgaria concluded a bilateral agreement with the United States, which provides for duty and tax-free import of goods financed by United States and for goods and services purchased on the Bulgarian market with the funds of the technical assistance programme.
None of the exemptions set out in EU legislation justifies the duty and tax relief applied by Bulgaria under this bilateral agreement. Once it joined the EU, Bulgaria should have adjusted the terms of the agreement in question or, that was not possible, should have withdrawn from this agreement.
The request takes the form of a Reasoned Opinion (the second stage of an infringement procedure). If the legislation is not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see:
For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/464
For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:
Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)