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20 March 2024

New waste management legislation. Waste reporting obligations in Bulgaria. What are the key considerations for businesses?

Bulgarian and EU legislators have been focusing on waste reduction and reporting recently. We are using the latest acts of the European Parliament to

  1. raise awareness among food, fashion and textile businesses about the expected legal developments;
  2. remind businesses that annual waste reports for 2023 should be submitted by 31 March; and
  3. summarise the latest Bulgarian secondary legal act, focusing on waste from ships.

Expected legislative developments

Last week, the EU Parliament decided to tackle food and textile waste by voting on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. This directive lays down the basic concepts and principles related to waste management. Its latest amendment introduces food waste reduction targets and a system of Extended Producer Responsibility ("EPR") for textiles.

The EU Parliament raised the legally binding food waste reduction targets to 20 % for the consumption level and to 40 % for food processing and manufacturing, a 10 % increase compared to the Commission's initial proposal. It also mandates the EU Commission to assess separate targets for all primary production food waste by 2025, including mature food left unharvested or used on farms.

On textiles, the Parliament improved the Commission's proposal by calling for products to be eco-modulated based on quantities – a first step towards leveraging EPR to curb overproduction. Members of the Parliament have also beefed up the text by bringing footwear into the scope of fee modulation. EU Member States will have to set up EPR schemes for carpets and mattresses too.

Recordkeeping and reporting obligations under the Ordinance on Packaging and Packaging Waste

In addition to the registration requirements under the Bulgarian packaging waste legislation that we previously outlined here, this article will summarise the accounting requirements associated with placing packaging on the market that contributes to widespread waste.

Entities involved in waste management activities are obliged to maintain records about their activities, as provided in the Waste Management Act. This includes businesses engaged in the creation, collection, transportation and treatment of industrial and hazardous waste, as well as those dealing with household and construction waste under authorised permits or registration documents.

Upon request by authorities or the previous holder of the waste, the entities must provide documents proving that the activities were carried out in compliance with all regulatory requirements.

Details about the content of the records and documentation are provided in Ordinance No. 1 of 4 June 2014 on the procedure and templates for providing information on waste activities, as well as the procedure for recordkeeping. The Ordinance provides detailed templates for record books, covering various categories, such as activity related to industrial and/or hazardous waste, activity related to the collection and transportation of waste, activity related to collection and storage of waste and others.

The record books are submitted electronically in the National Waste Information System ("NWIS") maintained by the Executive Environment Agency. The obliged persons who are keeping record books are also required to request certification for approval electronically through NWIS. These record books should be completed for each calendar month no later than 15 days after the end of the preceding month.

As a reminder, annual reports for the previous calendar year should be submitted by 31 March of the current year through NWIS (with certified electronic signature "KEP"). After this date, changes are not possible.

Obligations under the new Ordinance for delivery and reception of waste from ships

In January 2024, Bulgaria implemented the new Ordinance No. 15 for the delivery and reception of waste from ships (the "Ordinance"). The Ordinance regulates the conditions and procedure for the delivery and reception of waste from all vessels that visit the ports of the Republic of Bulgaria, regardless of the flag under which they sail.

The primary objective of the Ordinance is to increase and control the monitoring of waste entering Bulgarian territory from ships, with the following key provisions:

  • Notification regime: Sections II and III of the Ordinance introduce a notification regime for the handover of waste from ships into seaports (section 2 of the Ordinance) and river ports (section 3 of the Ordinance). These sections also set out different procedures for the notification regime depending on whether the ships arrive at a sea or river port.
  • Control inspections: Sections V and VI of the Ordinance outline the regime for conducting control inspections of ships visiting Bulgarian seaports (art. 28) and river ports (art. 31)

The competent authority responsible for compliance with the requirements of the Ordinance is the Bulgarian Executive Agency "Maritime Administration". In the event of noncompliance with the obligations under the Ordinance, the Merchant Shipping Code ("Кодекс на търговското корабоплаване") mandates fines or pecuniary sanctions ranging from BGN 2,000 to BGN 50,000 (approx. EUR 1,000 to EUR 25,000).


author: Alexandra Minioti


Junior Associate