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03 March 2021

Bulgaria: Amendments to waste management legislation lead to new labelling requirements for prepacked goods

Bulgaria has adopted amendments related to the Waste Management Act, particularly to the Ordinance on Packaging and Packaging Waste [Наредбата за опаковките и отпадъците от опаковки] (the "Ordinance").

The amendments were published in the State Gazette, issued on 8 January 2021 and in force since 12 January 2021. These are some of the more noteworthy amendments:

  • Increase of the recycling targets for packaging waste and introduction of a phased schedule for their implementation until 2030, reaching the recycling of 70 % of the total weight of packaging waste. While the amendment mainly affects recovery organisations, it could indirectly affect the contractual terms with such organisations. The achievement of targets will be measured, calculated and reported in accordance with the requirements and rules of the new Annex 8a to the Ordinance.

  • Repeal of Art. 17, para. 4 of the Ordinance. This was a provision introducing releases from liability for certain persons whose activity generates packaging waste. The amendment shows that the actual implementation of the recycling targets is important for all actors in the waste chain.

  • Two new paragraphs of Art. 19 introduced regarding commercial sites: (i) in the case of separate collection of packaging waste, retail sites should have sufficiently large containers for separate waste collection in accordance with the number of visitors; (ii) it is prohibited to mix separately collected packaging waste with other materials or waste in a way that hinders their subsequent recycling or recovery.

  • Annex 3 to the Ordinance introduces amendments that may lead to an obligation to label packaging.

The change will be effective from 1 January 2022 and reintroduces the requirement to depict the "chasing arrows" pictogram on the packaging/label of prepacked goods.

Prepacked goods placed on the market before 1 January 2022 that do not bear the "chasing arrows" pictogram can be sold until out of stock.

authors: Dimitar Kairakov and Elena Todorova


Attorney at Law