1. Bulgaria should conduct its trade policy strictly in
conformity with the provisions of the Europe Agreement and its
multilateral obligations (after acceding to the WTO).
2. Bulgaria should complete its accession to the WTO in a
reasonable time framework - preferably till the end of 1995. The
accession will open up new opportunities in its relationship with
the EU. It will give Bulgaria the qualification of a transparent
and predictable economy.
3.Drastic changes are required so that trade policy alignment be
achieved upon accession to the customs union and for the
participation in the internal market of the Union. The specific
areas concerned include inter alia: the trade policy instruments,
the institutional framework for their proper implementation as well
as the respective instruments of market regulation, the rules of
competition, the system of quality controls, the protection of the
4.Discrepancies between the trade liberalization under the
Europe Agreement (and beyond under future EU-membership
negotiations), and the level of structural adjustment of the
Bulgarian economy coupled with possible respective involvement of
the privatization process should be kept to the minimum. In this
respect it is worth mentioning that a delay in the structural
adjustment would inevitably result in a negative impact on
Bulgarian industries for production and market possibilities on
accession to EU.
5. Bulgaria should not conclude free trade area agreements with
important trading countries which have not yet concluded such
agreements with the EU (e.g. USA, Russia, etc.) since, after
Bulgaria's accession to the EU, it will be impossible for the Union
to compensate such countries as a result of the adoption by
Bulgaria of the common customs tariff of the EU in line with the
requirements of Article XXIV of the GATT. If concluded, such
agreements will delay Bulgaria's accession to the EU until, and if
the EU signs free trade area agreements with the countries
6. Bulgaria's priority in negotiating free trade area agreements
should cover associated countries of CEE (Poland, the Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and later Slovenia). Such a
policy will be strongly supported by the EU and will enable the
cumulation in the rules of origin and the resulting more efficient
It is of interest to the Bulgarian industries to speed up
negotiations for FTA with the respective associated to the EU
countries. It is only logical, that any form of FTA with the CEFTA
countries prior to the actual start of membership negotiations with
the EU will enhance our chances for better terms of accession to
the EU. i.e. better stay for the Bulgarian economic operators on
the single market.
7. Bulgaria should increase its efforts to achieve further
opening of the EU market for its products, due to various
considerations, inter alia the importance of increased
exports for achieving sustainable growth of the economy and
servicing foreign debt obligations; the erosion of trade
preferences for some products under the Europe Agreement as a
result of the implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements and
the latest enlargement of the EU; the chronic trade deficit with
the EU which now covers agricultural trade as well.
8. Efforts for further market access should primarily
concentrate on agricultural trade and its progressive inclusion
into the free trade area. Up to now the impact of the Europe
Agreement on Bulgaria's agricultural exports to the EU seems to be
negligible. Apart from further trade concession in agricultural
trade, most of which will probably be on a reciprocal basis, the EU
should seriously consider the elimination of export refunds for
exports when directed to Bulgaria and associated countries. Such
measures will gradually ease the problems in agriculture when
accession to the EU is achieved. Efforts on the part of Bulgaria
and the EU should also concentrate on better utilization of tariff
quotas by increasing its flexibility and by improving the
information to exporters and importers.
9. Trade in agriculture will be facilitated by the conclusion of
an agreement between Bulgaria and the EU on veterinary and
10. Better market access to EU market should be coupled with the
attraction of investments in Bulgaria by improving the investment
climate and by increasing export and investment guarantees on the
part of EU member states to potential investors.
11. Bulgaria should request the EU to refrain from using
safeguards and antidumping measures vis-И-vis exports from Bulgaria
and other associated countries. The mere initiation of the relevant
procedure in this area results in harassment of trade. The EU
should consider the abolition of the application of such measures
when associated countries adopt comparable competition rules in
their legislation (three years after the entry into force of the
12. Bulgaria should strongly urge the EU to abolish visa
requirements immediately since such requirements discriminate
against Bulgaria exporters compared to exporters from some other
associated countries and represent an important barrier to
13. Integration efforts should increasingly cover not only the
government level but also the industry level. Cooperation between
Bulgarian associations of sector industries, chambers of commerce,
etc., and their partners in the EU should be encouraged.
14. Bulgaria should expeditiously study in detail the White
Paper of the EU on approximation of laws and develop a programme of
priorities and timetable for the harmonisation of its legislation
with EU laws.
15. Bulgaria should adopt as soon as possible a new Customs Law,
the draft of which is considered to be based on EU legislation.
16. Bulgaria should speed up the adoption of the Combined
Nomenclature of the EU.
17. Bulgaria should bring its legislation on safeguards,
antidumping and countervailing duties in line with the Uruguay
Round Agreements in the respective areas. The same applies to the
area of the TBT Agreement and the SPS Agreement.
18. Special efforts should be devoted in Bulgaria in the area of
standartisation and certification.
19. Bulgaria should continue its policy of harmonization of the
existing standards on internationally agreed rules and of
developing the institutional framework for the comformity
20. In the short run priority should be given to the application
of the modules in technical legislation, the application of the EN
ISO 9000 and EN 45000 series of standards, and the promotion of
mutual recognition agreements in the unharmonized area of
21. The institutional set-up in Bulgaria in trade policy matters
should be enhanced by better coordination among economic ministries
under the coordination of the Trade Ministry and by strengthening
the respective departments of the Trade Ministry.
22. There is a strong need in Bulgaria to increase the number
and quality of trade policy experts. Trade officials should make
the best use of the opportunities to attend GATT trade policy
courses and training in EU member states. There should be rotation
of officials with GATT experience and EU experience.
23. There is a need of increased financial resources for
training, computer and other technical hardware and proceedings
stemming from SG and AD legislation, etc.