Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

CE MARKING ON BULGARIAN PRODUCTS IN 2006

In 2006, part of the commodities produced in Bulgaria will be marked with the CE symbol which is well known within the European Union (EU). According to information provided by the Ministry of Economy, Bulgaria is going to sign the PECA protocol by the end of the current year. Initially, it will be valid for machinery, toys, gas and electric appliances, equipment and lifts. When the protocol enters into force, they will start bearing this mark and will be easily sold on the single European market. However, the document has not been signed yet because the National Assembly failed to vote on second reading the amendments to the Law on Technical Requirements to Products which is acting in Bulgaria.Joining the PECA protocol is one of the most important commitments that Bulgaria should fulfil by 2007 under the Free Circulation of Commodities Chapter. No transitional periods have been settled for this section of the process of negotiating with the European Commission. In practice, it means that starting January 2007 the country will have to apply all directives of the so called old and new approaches which regulate the technical requirements to the goods sold on the market. They relate to their production but also to the subsequent realisation. The implementation of the quality criteria stipulated by the directives of the EU is obligatory. As to the standards for the various types of goods which are voluntary, things are different. Another commitment regarding the free movement of commodities is the replacement of the preliminary control over goods launched on the market by subsequent supervision. The EU recommends and in some cases requires that good manufacturing practices, quality and environment management systems, danger analysis and control systems, etc. be introduced in the respective branches. Which means that Bulgarian companies will need to make considerable investments.There are over 350 directives that regulate the requirements to commodities launched on the European market. They will be introduced in Bulgaria through various laws and acts. The number of standards goes beyond 10,000 but comparatively few of them have been translated in Bulgarian.The new European legislation adopted after the Free Circulation of Commodities Chapter was closed may cause problems to the Bulgarian administration, too. Still, in accordance with the accession protocol signed along with the Membership Treaty in Luxembourg on April 25, Bulgaria may request temporary exceptions for the application of the European norms adopted after October 1, 2004. Requests of the kind should be deposited no later than the end of 2006.

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