Bulgarian Parliament Amends Law on Offshore EntitiesBusiness | July 9, 2014, Wednesday // 12:26| views
Ruling BSP's Georgi Kadiev believes the amendments are yet another step toward regulating activities of offshore companies. Photo by BGNES
Lawmakers adopted at first reading amendments to the law regulating the activity of offshore companies in Bulgaria.
Under a proposal from ruling socialists member Georgi Kadiev (who recently stepped down as member of Parliament) and fellow MPs, entities having opaque ownership will be barred from signing contracts with the state, Bulgarian municipalities or any of their companies, the website Money.bg reports.
Changes to the Act on the Economic and Financial Relations with Companies Registered in Preferential Tax Regime Jurisdictions, the Persons Related to Them and Their Beneficial Owners (as the current legislation is fully titled) are aimed at tackling corruption and illicit backdoor maneuvers in public procurement.
They add to regulations introduced earlier this year that imposed a ban on offshore entities to take part in privatization, property deals or concessions in the country.
Such firms will be hindered from receiving a A-, B- or C-Class investment certificate and will not be assigned any priority project as defined by the Investment Promotion Act.
Parliament also gave green light to suggestions by co-ruling Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS)'s Yordan Tsonev, who also offered the previous amendments alongside Delyan Peevski.
Tsonev's changes could reduce the scope of business entities affected by the regulations by introducing a minimum threshold regarding how much of the company's assets are in a bank, insurance or pension fund in a jurisdiction with a preferential tax regime.
The 10-percent threshold will prevent a situation in which foreign investors having a single share in such a jurisdiction are driven away from Bulgaria without any real benefit to the country.
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