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Presentation of Commentary of the Law on the Commercial Register
 
On December 5, 2007, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) presented its latest publication – Commentary of the Law on the Commercial Register.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Maria Yordanova, Director of the CSD Law Program, thanked the authors of the Commentary and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia for the financial support of the publication. Dr. Yordanova noted that the reform in the system of commercial registration had a long history, dating back to the middle of 90’s and encompassing the legislative regulation of the Central Pledges Register, of the electronic document and electronic signature (and the book Electronic Document and Electronic Signature. Legal Framework, 2004) and the concepts for the Electronic Registries Center, initiated and developed by CSD. Dr. Yordanova expressed her hope that there would be no more postponements in the law’s entering into force and the Commentary would be a practical guide for its application.

The Deputy Minister of Justice Ms. Ana Karaivanova thanked the authors of the Commentary, CSD for the high-quality analyses the Center always did and confirmed that the electronic commercial register was indeed a better system of commercial registration than the existing court procedure. Ms. Karaivanova presented the work of the Ministry of Justice on the pilot application of the law and added that reforms did not begin or end with drafting a law, but needed adequate facilities and good implementers. In her opinion, the electronic register would largely contribute to the unification of practices in commercial registration.

On behalf of the authors, comments were made by the Supreme Court of Cassation Judge Borislav Belazelkov and George Dimitrov, attorney-at-law. Judge Belazelkov wished a good start to the commercial register and noted that the law provided for some pragmatic solutions, which should be explained to the public. He also confirmed that, although there was certain experience gathered in the work of the electronic registers, the volume of work of the commercial register would be much bigger – around 2000 registrations a day for the whole country. Mr. Dimitrov gave as examples of successful electronic registers, apart from the Central Pledges Register, the register of law firms, which functioned electronically, saved a lot of time and paper and was very successful.

In the discussion that followed Deputy Minister Karaivanova, Judge Belazelkov, Mr. George Dimitrov and Dr. Maria Yordanova answered questions by experts and journalists. The Deputy Minister said that there were still a lot of vacancies in the Registry Agency, but the electronic commercial register should be able to start without further delay immediately after the New Year holidays, despite the inevitable initial difficulties. Judge Belazelkov reminded that as of January 2, 2008 courts would not be competent to register new commercial entities and the existing ones would most probably re-register until the end of the first year of the 3-year period, provided for in the law. The Coordinator of the Economic Program of the Center Mr. Ruslan Stefanov emphasized the great importance of the electronic commercial register for the economic environment in the country and expressed hopes that it would guarantee transparency and efficiency and give opportunities to Bulgarians to improve their economic situation.

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