site.btaEC Identifies Incorrect Transposition of Anti-Money Laundering Directive by Bulgaria
The European Commission Thursday announced four infringement decisions against Bulgaria. The procedures cover anti-money laundering; the fight against fraud; air quality; and maritime transport.
The EC decided to send Sofia a letter of formal notice on the grounds of its incorrect transposition of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843). Bulgaria had notified the complete transposition of the Directive. Nevertheless, the Commission has identified several instances of incorrect transposition of the Directive into national law. These affect, among others, fundamental aspects like the obligation to register, license, or regulate services providers (under national law, trust and company services providers are neither licensed nor subject to registration); the lack of a mechanism to solve discrepancies of information offered by the national beneficial ownership register; or the proper application of the concepts of 'establishment' or 'residence' as regards the subjects under the obligation to provide information on beneficial ownership. Without a satisfactory response from Bulgaria within two months, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.
Fight against fraud
The Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria for failing to correctly transpose the EU rules on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law (Directive (EU) 2017/1371). The Commission has identified several conformity issues in Bulgaria regarding the definition of some criminal offences and the related criminal penalties, as well as the liability of legal persons for crimes committed for their benefit. Bulgaria has two months to address the shortcomings. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the EC may decide to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria.
The EC decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria for failing to remove barriers to access to justice in relation to air quality plans under the Air Quality Directive (Directive 2008/50/EC). Bulgaria has not ensured that environmental organisations or natural and legal persons are allowed to bring an action before the national courts. A final judgment of the national Court in 2021 confirmed the practice of denying access to justice regarding air quality plans. Bulgaria has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The EC decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria for failing to comply with EU rules on marine equipment contained in the Marine Equipment Directive (Directive 2014/90/EU). The Directive creates a market surveillance mechanism giving Member States the responsibility for ensuring that marine equipment does not present a risk to maritime safety, to health or to the environment. Bulgaria is not conducting adequate market surveillance for marine equipment on-board ships falling under its responsibility. In October 2019, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria. It has still not reported any market surveillance activities. Bulgaria has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.