Take free initial advice! Call now (UK) 020 8123 5542


Type a keyword in the box to begin search



Take a FREE legal advice.

Don't hesitate, just send us you question and we will get you an answer.



Sofia BAR
Sofia BAR Association


Bookmark this page or subscribe to the site RSS feed

Bookmark:
Subscribe: AddThis Feed Button





Bulgarian Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act
Last update: 2008-08-22 04:49:44

 Bulgarian Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act

Chapter One
GENERAL PROVISIONS


Article 1
This Act shall regulate the ownership and use of agricultural land.
Article 2
Agricultural land, for the purposes of this Act, shall be any land, set aside for farming, which:
1. (supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 68/1999, amended, SG No. 99/2002) does not fall within the confines of urbanized territories (settlements and other populated areas) determined by a detailed territorial structure design, or by a belt line range;
2. is not included as part of the forest reserve;
3. is not built-up by: industrial or other economic enterprises, recreation or health establishments, religious denominations or other public organisations; nor is within courtyards, nor under warehouses auxiliary to such buildings as the above;
4. (amended, SG No. 28/1992) is not occupied by open mines and quarries, energy, irrigation, transportation facilities or other public utilities, nor is adjacent to such facilities and utilities.
Article 3
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992) Agricultural land may be individual citizen's, State, municipal, or legal persons' property.
(2) Political parties and organisations, movements and coalitions for political purposes may not have ownership of agricultural land.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 45/1995, amended and supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 24/2007) Foreign states shall not have a right of ownership over agricultural lands.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 24/2007) Foreign nationals or foreign legal persons may not acquire right of ownership over agricultural land under the conditions of an international treaty, ratified pursuant to the procedure of Art. 22, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated and entered into force, and the foreigner nationals - also by inheritance by law.
(5) (New, SG No. 24/2007) Citizens of the Member States of the European Union and of the states - parties to the European Economic Area Agreement may acquire right of ownership over agricultural lands pursuant to this Act after the expiry of the term defined in the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union.
(6) (New, SG No. 24/2007) Legal persons from the Member States of the European Union or from the states - parties to the European Economic Area Agreement may acquire ownership over agricultural lands pursuant to the procedure of paragraph 5.
(7) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, renumbered from Paragraph 5, SG No. 24/2007) Foreign legal persons and foreign nationals may acquire usufruct in agricultural land or other limited real rights in land by terms and procedures as provided by law.
Article 3a
(New, SG No. 24/2007)
(1) Citizens of the Member States of the European Union - individually occupied farmers who wish to settle and reside permanently in the Republic of Bulgaria and who are registered in that capacity pursuant to the procedure of the BULSTAT Register Act, may acquire right of ownership over agricultural and forestry lands for usufruct from the date of the entry into force of the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union.
(2) In those cases where before the expiry of the term defined in the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union, the persons under paragraph 1 terminate their activity as individually occupied farmers, the provisions of Article 3b shall be applied.
Article 3b
(New, SG No. 24/2007)
(1) Foreign nationals who acquire right of ownership over agricultural lands by inheritance by law but who do not fulfil the conditions provided for in the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union, or when something else is not provided for in an international treaty, ratified pursuant to the procedure of Article 22, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, shall be obliged, within a three year term following the revealing of the inheritance, to transfer the ownership to persons who have right to acquire such estates.
(2) For persons under paragraph 1, to whom right of ownership over agricultural lands has been restored, the three year term for the transfer of the ownership shall run from the moment of its restoration.
(3) If the term under paragraph 1 has not been complied with, the state may buy the agricultural lands at prices, determined by an Ordinance of the Council of Ministers.
Article 4
(Amended and supplemented, SG No. 28/1992)
(1) Proprietors shall be free to determine a manner of using agricultural land according to its purposes. Proprietors shall use land in a manner such as is not detrimental to soils and in compliance with sanitation, fire safety and environmental protection standards.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) Buildings and installations may be erected on agricultural land such as are related to its use by terms and procedures as provided by the Spatial Development Act.
(3) (Amended, 79/1996, SG No. 13/2007) Expropriation of agricultural lands for important government and municipal purposes shall be done pursuant to the Ownership Act and the Agricultural Land Conservation Act.
(4) Proprietors and users shall protect archaeological sites, cultural monuments, irrigation, power generation and other facilities and installations, geodetic and frontier signs such as exist on their land, and shall not prevent other proprietors, users and officials from using and maintaining such facilities and installations.
(5) (Amended, SG No. 79/1996, supplemented, SG No. 68/1999, amended, SG No. 99/2002) Incorporation of agricultural land within the confines of urbanized territories (settlements and other populated areas) shall be done pursuant to the Agricultural Land Conservation Act and the Territorial and the Spatial Development Act.
Article 4a
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
(1) A citizen or a legal person shall sell agricultural land to a third party only after presentation to the notary of:
1. written proofs that he has proposed to the user with whom he has a concluded lease contract or rent contract for a period of five or more years, and he has used the estate under the same conditions, and
2. declaration that the user did not accept the proposal under item 1;
3. declaration that the user, although not having accepted the proposal under item 1, has unpaid lease or rent instalments.
(2) When the declarations under paragraph 1, item 2 and 3 are false or if the third party buys the agricultural land under conditions, stipulated under colour of law, the user can buy the agricultural land under the actually stipulated conditions. The claim shall be brought within two months from the date of the sale.
(3) When the claim under paragraph 2 is satisfied but the user does not pay the due amount within one month from the entry into force of the court decision, this decision shall be deemed invalidated by law.
(4) Paragraph 1 shall not apply to public sale.
(5) When the agricultural land is co-owned, the right of redemption of the users under paragraph 1 shall be applied after the redemption right of the co-owners under Article 33 of the Ownership Act.
Article 5
(Repealed, SG No. 28/1992, new, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997,
SG No. 88/1998, supplemented, SG No. 68/1999, SG No. 106/2000)
(1) (Redesignated from Article 5, SG No. 99/2002) Proprietors of agricultural land restituted under this Act, shall be exempted from state, state notary fees and local tax and fees in the event of concluding lease contract, rent contracts for a period of time exceeding one year, voluntary partition and rights-transferring transactions in agricultural land for a period of five (5) years.
(2) (New, SG No. 99/2002) No state fee is payable for the recordation of decisions of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service that have the force of public notary deeds based on factual possession.
(3) (New, SG No. 99/2002) A public notary fee collected for certification of the signatures of parties to contracts for farming land lease and rent, for a period above one year, shall be determined irrespective of the amount under the relevant contracts.


Chapter Two
LAND OF INDIVIDUAL PROPRIETORS
Article 6
(Repealed, SG No. 28/1992)
Article 7
(Amended, SG No. 79/1996)
(1) Declared partially unconstitutional by Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, over the term "reimbursement" - SG No. 103/1996) In the event of disposition, partition, reimbursement and grant of land, agricultural land estates shall not be parcelled out into fragments the proportions whereof are less than the ones prescribed under Article 72 of the Succession Act.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(3) Partition of a farm estate or disposition of real shares of a farm estate shall be executed only if the separate shares thereof are detachable to constitute separate estates of such proportions as specified in paragraph 1 above under a project drawn up or approved by the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997) In the event of partitions, disposition transactions, alienation, change of function and appraisal of agricultural lands, attached shall be a plot drawn up or endorsed by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service.
(5) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, 36/2004 - effective 31.07.2004) Registration offices and other competent authorities shall be required to notify, within one month, the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service of any changes in land ownership and use.
(6) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, repealed, SG No. 99/2002).
Article 8
(Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 98/1997)
Individuals may associate in co operatives or associations for joint farming of their land. In such cases they shall retain ownership of their land within real boundaries.
Article 9
(Repealed, SG No. 28/1992, new, SG No. 45/1995, amended, Sg No. 79/1996,
SG No. 104/1996, repealed, SG No. 98/1997)
Article 9a
(New, SG No. 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the
Republic of Bulgaria, SG No. 59/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996,
SG No. 104/1996, repealed, SG No. 98/1997)
Article 10
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, SG No. 59/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors or their inheritors shall be reinstated in possession of the agricultural lands they used to own prior to the institution of labour co-operative farms (TKZS) or state farms (DZS) regardless of whether such lands used to be incorporated therein or in other suchlike agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992), Proprietors shall be reinstated in their agricultural land as nationalised under the repealed Article 12 of the Citizens' Property Act, subject to reimbursement of moneys received in compensation.
(3) (Renumbered from Paragraph 6 and amended, SG No. 28/1992) Proprietors who donated their land to TKZS or the State shall be reinstated.
(4) (Renumbered from Paragraph 3, SG No. 28/1992) Proprietors shall be reinstated in their agricultural land where unlawfully dispossessed.
(5) (Repealed, New, SG No. 28/1992, supplemented, SG No. 45/1995, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors shall be reinstated in afforested or self-afforested agricultural land, inclusive of such lands incorporated into the State forestry reserve for which proprietors have received no compensation, with the exception of forest nurseries and forest shelter belts. Such reinstatement shall be effected following the procedure set forth in Article 14, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1.
(6) (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors shall be reinstated in farm yards managed as agricultural land by labour co-operative farms, state-owned farms or other agricultural organisations based thereon, in the effaced or abandoned settlements.
(7) (Repealed, new, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 48/1993 Judgment No. 12 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, SG No. 64/1993, amended, SG No. 45/1995, Judgments No. 7 and 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, SG No. 59/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, Judgment No. 20 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, SG No. 103/1996, amended, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 99/2002) Proprietors shall be reinstated in possession of the agricultural lands they used to own prior to the institution of labour co-operative farms or state farms, regardless of whether such lands used to be incorporated therein or in other suchlike agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof, and are located within the confines of urbanized territories (settlements) determined by a detailed territorial structure design, or by a circular belt range, except where buildings have been erected thereon by third persons in strict adherence to all regulative requirements, or where the right to build has been ceded and the erection, lawfully afforded as of March 1, 1991, has commenced. Such reinstatement shall be effected following the procedure set forth in Article 14, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1.
(8) (Repealed, redesignated from Article 4, amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors shall be reinstated in agricultural land up to such proportions as specified by the repealed Article 8, paragraph (1) and Article 10 of the Earned Landed Property Act, inclusive of land alienated under the Earned Landed Property Act. For agricultural land exceeding such proportions, proprietors shall be indemnified following the procedure laid down in Article 35. The limitation on land proportions shall also apply to any instances where agricultural land was confiscated by virtue of a sentence and such sentence has been vacated.
(9) (New, SG No. 28/1992) Proprietors shall be reinstated, at their request, in land nationalised as forests and subsequently transformed into agricultural land.
(10) (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 45/1995, supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 68/1999) Proprietors shall be reinstated in land that is polluted, eroded, salinated, with high acid content or with excess moisture in the surface layer, and the expenses for its ecological reclamation shall be borne by the State. Funds needed to recover such lands productivity as well as to neutralise hazardous pollutants, shall be provided by the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry under a program approved by the Council of Ministers on an annual basis. The Council of Ministers shall determine the procedure and manner of the ecological reclamation of such land and the control over polluted agricultural land.
(11) (New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997) Reinstated in land shall be such persons who have been granted land under the Earned Landed Property Act, including those who have not yet paid a part of the instalments due, with the exception of such persons who have lost their rights over such land.
(12) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 99/2002) Proprietors shall be reinstated under the procedure laid down in Article 14, paragraph 1, item 1, in possession of lands, both within and outside the confines of urbanized territories (settlements), incorporated into farm yards of labour co-operative farms, state farms, or other suchlike agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof, which are not built- up and do not represent areas contiguous to buildings.
(13) (New, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors shall be reinstated in possession of such lands, which they used to own prior to the institution of labour co- operative farms or state farms, or other suchlike agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof, that have been sold or ceded by such organisations, or by other governmental or municipal authorities, respectively, to third parties with the exception of the ones explicitly specified herein. Reference to acquisition by virtue of positive prescription shall be inadmissible.
(14) (New, SG No. 98/1997, supplemented, SG No. 88/1998, 99/2002) Subject to restitution shall be also all land taken away from its proprietors under the Ordinance-Act on Prosecution by a Popular Court of Those Guilty of Involving Bulgaria in the World War against the Allied Nations and of the Felonies thereto Related (SG No. 219/1944, amended SG No. 261/1944, 9/1945), the Law on Confiscation of Property Acquired by Way of Profiteering or in an Illicit Way (SG No. 78/1946), or pursuant to the Law on Collection of Taxes and Other State Revenue (SG No. 304/1948), the Regulation on Collection of Taxes and Charges (Izvestiya, No. 13/1952), the Decree on Procurement and Prices (SG No. 213/1945), the Decree on Mandatory Re-registration of Agricultural land Property (SG No. 122/1949), as well as under Government Decree No. 982 of 1951 on the Measures Preparatory to the Completion of 1951 Autumn Sowing and Deep Autumn Ploughing (not promulgated), Government Decree No. 5 on Measures Preparatory to the Completion of the Spring Sowing and on the Cares for Growing the Autumn Crops in 1951 (Izvestiya, No. 4 of 1951), Government Decree No. 1559 of 1951 on the Measures Preparatory to the Completion of the Spring Sowing and on the Cares for Growing the Autumn and Spring Crops and Ensuring High Yields in 1952 (not promulgated), and Government Decree No. 48 of 1958 on Establishing the Balance of Arable Land as of January 1, 1958 and Taking Measures to Ensure its Further Enlargement, Utilisation and Protection against Misuse and Wasteful Practices (Izvestiya, No. 28/1952).
Article 10a
(New, SG No. 28/1992, supplemented, SG No. 45/1995)
(1) (Judgment No. 8/19.06.1995 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/1995) Reinstatement shall be done within the actual boundaries of land owned wherever existent or if possible to be established from the Cadastre of settlements or from compensation plans.
(2) Wherever boundaries of land no longer exist, reinstatement in ownership shall be done within actual boundaries of agricultural land of equivalent area on the territory of the respective settlement or an adjacent territory, and upon proprietor's consent, on another territory, following land reallocation and consolidation of real estates on it.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 24/2007) Foreign nationals who are reinstated in property pursuant to this Article shall within three years transfer the said property to persons who have right to acquire agricultural lands.
(4) (New, SG No. 24/2007) Paragraph 3 shall not apply to citizens of the Member States of the European Union and of the states - parties to the European Economic Area Agreement, as well as to citizens of other states by virtue of a treaty under Article 3, paragraph 4.
Article 10b
(New, SG No. 28/2992, amended, SG No. 45/1995)
(1) (Judgment No. 8/19.06.1995 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/1995, amended SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 88/1998, amended and supplemented, SG No. 68/1999, SG No. 99/2002) Proprietors or their inheritors who used to be in possession of agricultural land prior to the institution of labour co- operative farms or state farms, regardless of whether such land was incorporated therein, or in other suchlike agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof, located either within or outside the confines of urbanized territories (settlements), and which are either built-up or such projects have been undertaken thereupon which render reinstatement in ownership inadmissible, shall have the right to indemnification, at their request, with land of equal worth from the municipal landed reserve, and/or with registered compensation bonds. Based on a substantiated proposal by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service or any person concerned, the municipal council shall, within one month of its receipt, define the type, size and location of the lands to be granted in compensation from the municipal landed reserve, inclusive of instances pursuant of Article 10b, Article 1, item 2 and 3, paragraph 2 and 4 but not less than 50 per cent of the available municipal landed reserve. Should the municipal council not make a decision within the prescribed time or refuse a request for granting up to 50 percent of the available municipal landed reserve, the land for compensation shall be defined by ruling of the district governor upon request by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service or any person concerned. Where the proposal is for land constituting less than 50 per cent of the available municipal landed reserve, the land for compensation shall be defined by ruling of the district governor up to the size of land requested.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 28/2002).
(3) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 98/1997, supplemented, SG No. 88/1998) Proprietors of land confiscated by virtue of a sentence which has been vacated, and ownership thereupon may not be reinstated for circumstances cited under paragraph 1, shall be indemnified under the terms and procedures of paragraph 1 above.
(4) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(5) (New, SG No. 45/1995, renumbered from paragraph 4, SG No. 79/1996) Land ownership wherever cannot be restituted as a result of the circumstances described in the above paragraphs shall be the property of the State.
Article 10c
(New, SG No. 74/1991, redesignated from Article 10a, amended,
SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 45/1995, SG No. 79/1996)
(1) Bulgarian nationals or their heirs whose agricultural lands have served as a government debt redemption pursuant to the Agreement on the Settlement of Open Financial Issues and Economic Co-operation Development between the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Greece (SG, No. 87 of 1964) shall be indemnified as follows:
1. (amended, SG No. 68/1999) persons who emigrated in the period between 1913 and 1928 who have not registered their bonds for redemption by the State: with registered compensation bonds;
2. (amended, SG No. 98/1997) Bulgarian nationals who emigrated in the period from 1913 to 1928 and who have not obtained bonds and have not been otherwise indemnified - with registered compensation bonds and/or with land from the State and municipal landed reserve;
3. (amended, SG No. 98/1997) those who emigrated in from 1928 to 1944 - with registered compensation bonds and/or with land from the State and municipal landed reserve.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 68/1999) Bulgarian nationals or their heirs, from whom the State of Romania, under the Organisation of New Dobrudja Act of 1 April 1914, confiscated one third of their own agricultural land, shall be indemnified as follows:
1. the one third for which the right to compensation was not claimed under the Act on Settlement of Ownership of Real Estates in South Dobroudja (promulgated SG No. 157/1942, repealed Izv., No. 16/1951): with land from the State and/or municipal landed reserve for adding to the owner's other property up to 100 decares, and registered compensation bonds for the shortage to the full amount of the confiscated one third;
2. the granted right to moneys in compensation under Chapter III of the Act on Settlement of Ownership of Real Estates in South Dobroudja: with registered compensation bonds.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Persons under paragraphs 1 and 4 shall file petitions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and persons under paragraph 2, with the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services having jurisdiction over the location of the restituted property.
(4) (New, SG No. 88/1998) Bulgarian nationals whose estates have not been substituted with land from the State landed reserve under the provisions of Chapter Seven of the Act on the Amendment of the Act on Regulation of Real Estates in South Dobrudja (repealed, SG No. 57/1948), shall be compensated according to the provisions of paragraph 2.
(5) (New, SG No. 68/1999) Indemnification with land shall be done: under paragraph 2, subparagraph 1, and under paragraph 4, in the location of the restituted property, and in case of shortage or lack of land from the State landed reserve or the municipal landed reserve in the village land, with registered compensation bonds.
Article 11
(1) (Amended, SG No. 18/1992, 46/1992) Persons under Article 10 above shall file petitions for reinstatement in agricultural land within seventeen months from the date that this Act comes into force.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, 45/1995, amended and supplemented, SG No. 13/2007) Persons who failed to file petitions within the period under paragraph 1, can establish by claim against the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service their right to reinstate their ownership of agricultural lands only with written proofs. Written declarations and/or witness testimonies shall not constitute grounds for proving the right of ownership. The municipality at the location of the estate shall be called in the court case. On the basis of the rendered decision the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall set out the lands for restitution of ownership by complying with the requirements of this Act.
(3) (New, SG No. 45/1995, repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(4) (New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 98/1997, supplemented, SG No. 99/2002) Where a court ruling is presented to the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service following the promulgation in the official State Gazette of an announcement that the land reallocation plan had been drafted, the owner shall be indemnified under the terms and procedures specified in Article 10b, if he/she may not be afforded land under Article 19 by of compensation.
Article 12
(1) Petitions under the preceding Article shall be referred to the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service. Petitions shall contain description of the estate concerned together with evidence of ownership.
(2) (Repealed, renumbered from Paragraph 3, SG No. 28/1992, supplemented, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997) Ownership shall be proven by: act of notary, deeds of partition, TKZS protocols, land registers, applications for TKZS membership, rent ledgers protocols and decisions for vesting in landed property, including under the Earned Landed Property Act of 1946 and the Regulation for its application, and other evidence in writing.
(3) (New, SG No. 28/1992, repealed, SG No. 13/2007).
(4) (New, SG No. 28/1992, repealed, SG No. 13/2007).
(5) (New, SG No. 45/1995, repealed, SG No. 13/2007).
(6) (New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, SG No. 87/1997, SG No. 98/1997) In the event that the land claimed should exceed the amount of land available in the area at the time of the establishment of the labour co- operative farms, the state farms and other suchlike agricultural organisations, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall be empowered to discontinue the land-division for the purpose of precisely specifying the amount of land due to each claimant, as well as to order a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service to rescind earlier enacted decisions. In such cases persons found to have filed false petitions and declarations shall be held materially liable for damages inflicted as well.
(7) (New, SG No. 98/1997) Positive prescription in favour of a agricultural land holder, whose possession thereto is based on a contract in writing, a deed of voluntary partition or other legal instrument in writing, shall not be suspended with the incorporation of such land in labour co- operative farms, state farms and other suchlike agricultural organisations. This shall not constitute a ground for rescinding any court rulings that have entered into force.
Article 13
(1) Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall post petitions filed with the information presented at municipalities or other appropriate places.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 28/1992).
(3) (Repealed, SG No. 28/1992).
Article 14
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 45/1995) A Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall hand down rulings on:
1. (supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, amended and supplemented, SG No. 68/1999) restitution of ownership rights over land within existing old actual boundaries or such that are possible to restore. A board's ruling shall provide a description of the size and category of the property, its location (boundaries, neighbours) and any applicable limitations on the property with a quotation of the reasons for such limitations. A plan of the property shall be annexed to such ruling. A ruling having entered into force accompanied by a plan, except in the cases under Article 10, paragraph 7, shall certify the ownership right and shall be valid as a ascertaining notarial title deed for the property. Where a ruling restitutes ownership right over agricultural land to a deceased owner, the ruling shall be issued for all his/her heirs together. The shares of the heirs shall be defined as per the Succession Act, without being specified in the ruling.
2. (amended, SG No. 79/1996, amended and supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 106/2000) restitution of ownership rights over agricultural lands within new real confines by means of a land reallocation plan. A ruling shall indicate the size and categories of the agricultural lands, and the precise locality on the territory within which they used to be. A land reallocation plan shall be drawn up on the basis of a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service's resolutions and following a survey, an inquiry and designing. A land reallocation plan shall be drawn up after an inquiry shall have been conducted with the participation of no less than half the owners or their inheritors. Such inquiry shall be conducted in the order and manner prescribed in the Rules on the implementation of this Act. Any need to rework a land reallocation plan shall be prescribed by an executive order of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
3. (new, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 88/1998, SG No. 68/1999) acknowledgement of ownership right under the provisions of § 4 through 4l; the ruling shall set forth the size and the locality where the agricultural land was found.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 16/2003 - effective 26.10.2002) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service's rulings shall be notified to the persons concerned in correspondence with the Code of Civil Procedure.
(3) (Amended, SG Nos. 62/1997, 98/1997, 59/1998, 16/2003 - effective 26.10.2002, SG No. 30/11.04.2006, effective 1.03.2007) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service's rulings shall be appealable to the District Court within fourteen (14) days of notification. Appeals shall be lodged with the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service. The Court shall rule at the substance of the matter. Cases shall be heard in the same settlement in whose territory the property is located. The regional court judgment shall be subject to cassation appeal before the administrative court according to the procedure established by the Administrative Procedure Code , which shall be examined by the court sitting in a panel of three judges.
(4) (New, SG No 28/1992) Where disputes arise on material rights every person concerned shall establish his rights by court action.
(5) In legal proceedings at the District Court all forms of evidence under the Code of Civil Procedure shall be valid as well.
(6) (New, SG No. 45/1995) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service may correct at its own initiative or at the request of interested persons any obvious factual errors made in the ruling under this Article.
(7) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 87/1997, 98/1997) Upon detection of infractions of this Act and the Rules on the implementation thereof, as well as of any new circumstances and/or new written evidence of substantial significance for handing down a ruling under paragraph 1, a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall, at the request of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry or at the request of the concerned persons, render a ruling amending the previous one within one (1) year following the emergence of such new circumstances, or of new written evidence, but certainly no later than two (2) years of the land reallocation plan's entry into effect or of the handing down of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service's decision under Article 14, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1. This procedure shall not apply where a court ruling has entered into force in respect of the same lands.
(7a) (New, SG 79/1996) Interested persons shall have the right to require, under the conditions and following the procedure laid down in paragraph 7 above, that a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service modify the persons in favour or to the prejudice of whom their ruling has been handed down.
(8) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 98/1997) Any rulings under paragraphs 6 and 7 shall be made known following the procedure described in paragraph 2 and may be appealed in the manner and within the terms laid down in paragraph 3. Where the rulings are handed down following the promulgation in the official State Gazette of the announcement that the land reallocation plan has been drawn up, the owners shall be indemnified under the terms and procedures specified in Article 10b.
(9) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 87/1997, 16/2003) A Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall be represented before the court by the chief, deputy chief, or by a duly authorised person having a degree in law, or by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Article 15
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992) Municipal Councils shall, within six months of the date this Act comes into force, provide Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services with information on changes in the area of agricultural land within the respective territory.
(2) (New, SG No. 98/1997) Where a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service has ascertained a decrease in the proportion of agricultural land within a respective territory, lessened respectively shall be also the plots of land subject to restitution with the exception of such plots of land that are to be restituted within their either currently existing or previous actual confines restorable on the same terrain. Lessened appropriately shall also be the plots of land the title whereto is subject to restitution in execution of a court ruling on restitution of title by way of a land reallocation plan.
(3) (Former paragraph 2, amended, SG No. 79/1996, renumbered and amended, SG No. 98/1997) Proprietors, at their request, shall be indemnified for the differential between the land under rightful claim and land received in restitution with equivalent lands from the municipal landed fund and/or registered compensation bonds. Lands shall be appraised under such terms and procedures as prescribed by the Council of Ministers in consideration of the current market prices in the respective area.
(4) (Former paragraph 3, amended, SG No. 79/1996, renumbered and amended, SG No. 98/1997) Owners shall be indemnified under the procedure specified in paragraph 3 also where the court ruling by virtue whereof their right to restitution of ownership of agricultural land has been acknowledged has been presented to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service following the promulgation of an announcement in the official State Gazette that a land reallocation plan has been drawn up.
(5) (Former paragraph 4, renumbered, SG No. 98/1997) Legal persons who have worked out or keep and maintain cadastral topographic and geodetic information on the territories of settlements, shall submit it to the state authorities within 10 days from request. Information shall be submitted free of charge, with the exception of the expenses incurred for producing copies of the documentation.
Article 16
Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall keep registers of petitions filed pursuant to Article 11 above, and rulings become effective under Article 14 above.
Article 17
(Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 45/1995)
(1) (Amended and supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 68/1999) Ownership of agricultural land within new actual boundaries shall be restored using plots of land of similar proportion and quality, appropriately lessened in the cases under Article 15, paragraph 3, and where possible in the same localities where petitioners' estates owned by them even prior to the establishment of labour co-operative farms, state-owned farms, or other agricultural organisations based thereon had been located. New actual boundaries shall be established by way of a land reallocation plan. Restitution of title shall be made by a ruling of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service rendered on the basis of a valid land reallocation plan. Said ruling shall include a description of the agricultural land's proportions and category, its location, confines, neighbours, as well as any limitations on the property and the reasons for such limitations. A plan of the property shall be also annexed to the ruling. A ruling having entered into force with a plan annexed to it, shall certify the ownership right and shall be valid as an ascertaining notarial title deed for the property. Where a ruling restitutes ownership right over agricultural land to a deceased owner, the ruling shall be issued for all his/her heirs together, except in the cases under paragraph 2. The shares of the heirs shall be defined as per the Succession Act, without being specified in the ruling.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 99/2002).
(3) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(4) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 98/1997) Separate land reallocation plans shall be adopted in respect of territories occupied by perennial crops, rice fields and canal equipment, which shall be part and parcel of the land reallocation plan for the entire territory.
(5) (Supplemented, SG No. 98/1997) By way of a land reallocation plan, any particular owner's plots of land within a locality shall be restored in one and the same area. All other requirements to which a land reallocation plan and the manner of its elaboration, as well as any technical activities relating to its drawing up and to the survey of estates under Article 14, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 should conform, shall be set forth in the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
(6) Restitution of property shall take place after harvesting of the crop unless the proprietor pays compensation.
(7) (Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30.06.1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996) Prior to entry into force of the land reallocation plan petitioners who have been issued a ruling under Article 14, paragraph 1, item 2, or where partitions have been effected under the procedure laid down in paragraph 2, may be put in possession of agricultural lands in such proportions as shall not exceed the ones specified in the ruling.
(8) (Amended, SG Nos. 87/1997, 98/1997, 88/1998, 68/1999, 99/2002) A land reallocation plan already in force and an approved chart of existing or restorable real agricultural land boundaries may be reworked in the event of a manifest factual error, following an order of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry or of an official duly authorised by the Minister. The order shall be promulgated in the State Gazette and shall be notified by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service in the municipality. In redressing such error affected individuals shall be indemnified according to Article 10b, Paragraph 1.
(9) (New, SG No. 79/1996, repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
Article 18
(New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 87/1997, 99/2002)
(1) Proprietors of farmland located within consolidated plots of perennial plants, rice fields and irrigation facilities shall be under the obligation to manage them by executing all applicable agro technical and agrochemical operations.
(2) Proprietors under Paragraph 1 may not destroy perennial plants, rice fields and irrigation facilities located in their own consolidated plots of land prior to the expiry of the period of depreciation, except in compliance to a permission of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry or any members of the staff duly authorized by him.
(3) Perennial plants shall be subject to destruction following the procedures under Paragraph 2 within a period of one year after delivery of said permission.
Article 19
(1) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, supplemented, SG No. 99/2002, redesignated from Article 19 and amended, SG No. 13/2007) The municipality shall run and manage the agricultural land that has remained after the rights of the proprietors have been reinstated. Following the entry into force of the land allocation plan and of the approved map of existing and old actual boundaries which can be restored, such land shall become municipal property.
(2) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The defining of the estates under paragraph 1 shall be done by a commission, appointed by the director of the district directorate "Agriculture and Forestry", which comprises representatives of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, of the Agency on Geodesy, Maps and Cadastre, of the municipality, of the state forestry and/or state wild animals stations.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The terms and the procedure for defining the estates under paragraph 1 shall be set out in the Rules on the implementation of this Act. The protocol decision of the commission under paragraph 2 shall be mentioned as well in the municipality property acts as a ground for their drafting
(4) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The municipalities shall be obliged to grant the lands under paragraph 1 for a term of 5 years if one of the following conditions exist:
1. establishment of the boundaries of the agricultural lands regarding which there is a decision of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service for recognition of the right of reinstatement of ownership in existing or old actual boundaries which can be restored;
2. execution of court decisions for recognised right of ownership;
3. compensation of the owners;
4. execution of projects for consolidation of agricultural lands in the settlements on the territory of the municipality;
5. execution of sites from the technical infrastructure, as well as of other projects about which the law allows compulsory expropriation.
(5) (New, SG No. 13/2007) In the instances under paragraph 4, item 1-3 and following the same sequence, the granting of the lands shall be done by a reasoned request of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service with an order of the municipal mayor, without the need of a decision by the municipal council.
(6) (New, SG No. 13/2007) When there is an approved cadastral map about the settlement, the establishment of the boundaries of the agricultural lands shall be done according to the Cadastre and Property Register Act.
(7) (New, SG No. 13/2007) In order to compensate the owners, upon a reasoned proposal of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, at least 50 percent of the lands under paragraph 1 shall be envisaged, but not more than the necessary ones, under terms and procedure set out in the Rules on the implementation of the Act.
(8) (New, SG No. 13/2007) Regarding the lands under paragraph 1, the municipalities shall not be able to conclude for a term of 5 years:
1. (amended, SG No. 59/2007) preliminary contracts, as well as to issue certificates in relation to a factual check under the procedure of Article 587 of the Code of Civil Procedure;
2. rental and lease contracts for a term not longer than three, respectively 4 years.
(9) (New, SG No. 13/2007) Right-transferring transactions with the lands under paragraph 1 shall be done on the basis of a land management plan, adopted by the municipal council and approved by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. The terms and procedure for drafting, publication, adoption and approval of the land management plan shall be set out in the Rules on the implementation of the Act.
(10) (New, SG No. 13/2007) Apart from the instances under paragraphs 4 and 9, the lands under paragraph 1 shall not be subject to right-transferring transactions for a term of 5 years.
Article 19a
(New, SG No. 45/1995)
(1) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, 99/2002) Terms and procedures of compensation shall be prescribed by the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(3) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(4) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Within proprietor compensation proceedings the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall deliver a decision with regard to:
1. Determination of the right to compensation following the procedures under Article 10b, 10c, and Article 35, also specifying the amount of compensation,
2. Determination of the amount of compensation in land and/or registered compensation bonds in accordance with the Paragraph 5 index,
3. Compensation of proprietors by offering registered compensation bonds,
4. Compensation of proprietors by offering farmland.
(5) (New, SG No. 99/2002) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall pass a memorandum to determine an index representing the relation of the value of land offered in compensation to the value of compensation in land due on the territory of the relevant municipality that will be used to reduce the value of compensation in land for all rights' claimants.
(6) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Where, in the process of determining compensations in land, estates are formed that are smaller than 3 decares as regards cornfields, 2 decares as regards meadows, and 1 decare as regards perennial plants, compensation shall be effected through granting such estates to several co-proprietors, each co proprietor being entitled to a fractional interest in correspondence to the value of his compensation.
(7) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Decisions of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services under Paragraph 4, items 1 and 4 may be amended on the grounds and following the procedures under Article 14, Paragraph 7 - within a period of one year following their entry into force, but not later than two years following the entry into force of the compensation plan, as well as following the terms and conditions laid out in Article 14, Paragraph 6.
(8) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Judicial expert examinations to be filed upon appeal of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services decisions on fixing amounts of compensation under Paragraph 4, item 1, shall be entrusted to experts from a list approved by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and by the Minister of Finance.
(9) (New, SG No. 99/2002) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall issue a decision for the determination of compensation under Paragraph 4, item 3, where under conditions laid out in Article 35, Paragraph 1 acts of the court or of real estate property bodies underlying said decision, have been delivered or submitted after fixing the index under Paragraph 5.
(10) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Provisions of Article 17, Paragraph 1, sentences 4 - 8 shall apply mutatis mutandis to decisions of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service.
Article 20
(1) (Amended, SG Nos. 45/1995, 79/1996) Landless persons and small proprietors shall be granted land by respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services from the national and municipal land reserves by way of transferring the property rights or leasing out by such terms and under such procedure as shall be prescribed in an ordinance enacted by the Council of Ministers.
(2) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 87/1997, 99/2002) The size and locality of lands to be granted shall be specified by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry on a motion by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service as regards lands belonging to the State landed reserve, and by the municipal council where lands constituting municipal landed funds are concerned, in proportion to the factual availability of landed funds in the respective territory. Same authorities shall specify what part thereof shall be transferred in possession or leased out. Agricultural estates granted by virtue of a land provision plan to individuals with little or without any real property may not be smaller in size than 3 decares as regards cornfields, 2 decares as regards meadows, and 1 decare as regards perennial plantations. Real estate below these sizes may be granted to individuals eligible for obtaining land provisions upon their written consent.
(3) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 99/2002) Land shall be granted within the territory of the settlement where a person takes up his permanent abode, or where his agricultural lands have been reinstated, as well as within neighbouring territories. Provision of land may be operated from other landed funds of the municipality upon the written consent of the individuals with little or without any real property where no land or a shortage of land exists.
(4) Persons thus vested with landed property may not transfer said property before the expiry of 10 years of the date of acquisition unless the transfer is made to the State or the local Municipality.
Article 21
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992) Among persons eligible to be thus vested with property, preference shall be given, as follows:
1. persons who are engaged in farming in a local settlements;
2. (amended, SG No. 99/2002) persons, residing permanently in a local settlement, who have relinquished land to the State land reserve in another settlement;
3. graduates in farming and young couples who undertake to engage in farming;
4. persons dispossessed of agricultural land for state or public policy needs.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) Among applicants of the same category, preference shall be given, in the ranking order set out below, to individuals who:
1. Have been registered with the Municipal Social Assistance Service and/or Labour Office and do not own any land or own less in comparison to others,
2. Do not own any land or own less in comparison to others.
(3) A Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service's rulings on petitions shall be notified to persons concerned pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure and may be appealed against pursuant to Article 14 above.
Article 22
Persons outside categories under the preceding article shall be vested with property rights in land subject to a ruling of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service on results of auction held according to rules set by the Council of Ministers.
Article 23
(1) (Amended, SG No. 79, SG No. 104/1996, redesignated from Article 23, SG No. 13/2007) Where land is granted, ownership shall be acquired upon the entry into force of the decision of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service. The decision shall be entered into the registers of the Registry Service. A lawful mortgage shall be established on the estate until the payment of the sums due for the grant of the land.
(2) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall issue a decision for repeal of the grant of land for the benefit of the state land fund or of the municipal land fund in case of non-fulfilment of the obligations defined in the Ordinance under Article 20, paragraph 1, by the persons to whom the land has been granted or in case of falsely declared data, used for the issue of the decision.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The repeal decision for the grant of land shall be issued within three months from the establishment of the infringement.
(4) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The repeal decision for the grant of land shall be communicated to the interested persons according to the procedure of the Code of Civil Procedure and shall be subject to appeal according to the procedure of Article 14, paragraph 3. The decision which has entered into force shall be entered into the Registry Service.
Article 23a
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
The decisions of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services under Article 21, paragraph 3 and under Article 23 shall be subject to amendments on the grounds of and according to the procedure of Article 14, paragraph 7 within two years from their entry into force, but not later than three years from the entry into force of the land granting plan, as well as under the terms and procedure of Article 14, paragraph 6.


Chapter Three
LAND HELD BY THE STATE, MUNICIPALITIES, AND LEGAL PERSONS
(Retitled, SG No. 98/1997)
Article 24
(1) (Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 45/1995, 79/1996, 87/1997, 68/1999, 99/2002) The State shall retain its ownership of agricultural lands according to the status quo at the time of entry of this Act into force, with the exception of the lands subject to restitution. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall exercise the owner's rights in respect of lands included in the State landed fund, by letting or leasing them out, by establishing limited real rights thereon, by executing sales and exchanges for farmland belonging to individuals and legal entities of an equivalent valuation determined in accordance with Regulations provided for under Article 36, Paragraph 2.
(2) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 87/1997) The property rights of the State over agricultural lands allotted to research, research and manufacture, and academic institutions, inclusive of the Ministry of Transportation, to the penitentiaries, to seed production and pedigree animal farms, fruit tree nurseries, pepper nurseries, forest nurseries and hunting estates, as well as to the Ministry of Regional Development and Urban Planning inasmuch as are necessary for their activities, shall be retained in such proportions as correspond to such institutions' basic nature of business and as determined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry following consultations with all administrations concerned.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) The State's ownership of agricultural land allotted to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and other departments directly pertaining to the national defence and security, shall be retained on territories and in size determined by the Council of Ministers on a motion by the Minister of Defence, or by the Minister of the Interior, respectively, or by the head of the respective department. Where compelling circumstances related to national defence and security are no longer found the above farmland shall be made part of the State landed reserve by virtue of a Decision of the Council of Ministers.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 133/1998) Proprietors shall not be reinstated in ownership of agricultural lands which have been included in parks of national significance and natural reserves, exclusively state owned, as identified under the provisions of the Protected Areas Act, or of land where immovable archaeological sites are located on or below its surface.
(5) (New, SG No. 45/1995) The lands under paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 shall be the property of the State. These may only be used for the purposes for which they had been granted. The users of such lands shall not be entitled to permit other persons to use such lands.
(6) Proprietors under paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) above shall be granted compensation pursuant to Article 10b, paragraph (1).
(7) (New, SG No. 88/1998, amended, SG No. 99/2002) Land in the State landed reserve shall not be acquired by prescription. Seizure thereof from individuals who are in possession in the absence of a legally valid title or use these not in accordance with their intended purpose shall be operated following the terms and conditions of Article 34, irrespective of the manner in which the State has acquired them.
(8) (New, SG No. 13/2007) In the instances of paragraph 3, when the need relating to the defence and security of the country stops to exist, upon a request by the former proprietor or his heirs, the district governor shall repeal the expropriation if the persons have not been compensated. The district governor shall transmit the request to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry for an opinion.
(9) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The request under paragraph 8 shall be deposited within 6 months from the date of the publication of the decision of the Council of Ministers under paragraph 3 in the State Gazette.
(10) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The terms and procedure for the repeal of the expropriation shall be determined by an Ordinance of the Council of Ministers.
(11) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall define plots and pastures from the state land fund which can be granted for common use by agricultural farmers for breeding of animals in accordance with the terms for maintenance of the land in good agricultural and ecological condition, pursuant to the procedure of Article 48 of the Referral to the People Act. The list shall be sent annually to the mayors of the municipalities at the location of the state plots and pastures and shall be published on the Internet site of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
(12) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The state shall be represented before the court by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry regarding cases relating to lands from the state land fund.
(13) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The appraisal of limited real rights and easements on lands from the state land fund shall be determined pursuant to the Ordinance under Article 36, paragraph2. The value determined by the evaluators under Article19a, paragraph 8 shall be the lowest price according to which limited real rights and easements can be established.
Article 24a
(New, SG No. 99/2002)
(1) The lease or rent of estates belonging to the State landed reserve shall be operated on the occasion of an auction or competition in accordance with the terms, conditions, and prices determined within the Rules and Regulations for the implementation of this act. On the basis of the outcome of said auction or competition a contract for lease or rent shall be signed. The duration of a lease contract may not exceed 10 years.
(2) Farmlands belonging to the State landed reserve may be leased or rented without auction or competition:
1. Where perennial plantations are grown on these,
2. Where no use has been made thereof during two or more annual farming cycles,
3. To users under Article 24, Paragraph 2 where these have formed commercial companies, and
4. Upon privatisation of commercial companies under item 3 - for the period of excess of the duty to keep preceding activities, as provided for in a privatisation contract, over the duration of the contract for lease or rent.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall determine, upon a proposal by the district directorates "Agriculture and Forestry", small size estates from the state land fund which can be rented for use for a year without tender or competition.
Article 24b
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
(1) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall grant for free estates from the state land fund to the organisations and services under Article 24, paragraph 2 and 3, which are necessary for their activities.
(2) The lands under paragraph1 shall be used only for the purposes for which they have been granted. Their users shall not have the right to grant them for use by third parties.
Article 24c
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
The prior consent of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall be required for the assignment of the drafting of a detailed regulation plan which involves lands from the state land fund.
Article 24d
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
(1) The exchange of agricultural lands from the state land fund with agricultural lands of citizens, legal persons or municipalities shall be done upon a written proposal by the interested persons. The proposal shall not be binding upon the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry regarding the exchange.
(2) When with the proposed exchange of agricultural lands a consolidation of land estates is achieved, no restrictions regarding the size of the agricultural lands - subject of the exchange, shall be applied.
(3) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall decide with a prior written statement on the proposal for exchange within one month. When the statement is favourable, it shall include as well the terms for the execution of the exchange.
(4) The exchange of agricultural lands under paragraph 1 shall not be done when the lands - property of citizens, legal persons or municipalities, are encumbered with mortgages or other charges, are rented or leased, are located in sanitary-protective areas, there is no direct access to them, as well as in other cases, provided for in the Rules on the implementation of this Act, or the exchange is not in the interest of the state.
(5) For the preparation of the exchange a file shall be prepared, containing documents certifying the right of ownership over the estates subject to the exchange, their appraisals, the compliance with the legal conditions and with the terms under paragraph 3.
(6) For the execution of the exchange the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall issue an order. Within one month from the announcement of the order the interested person shall pay the due taxes, charges, expenses and other payments.
(7) On the basis of the order a written contract shall be concluded within one month from the payment of the amounts under paragraph 6. The contract shall be entered in the Registry Agency at the location of the estates at the expense of the applicant. A notarial form shall not be required.
(8) When the applicant does not pay the due amounts within the term under paragraph 6 or does not appear to conclude the contract within the term under paragraph 7, it shall be considered that he renounces to conclude the transaction.
(9) The exchange of agricultural lands from the municipality land fund with agricultural lands of citizens, legal persons and the state shall be done by decision of the municipal council after presentation of a reasoned statement to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service.
(10) The consolidated agricultural lands, acquired through exchange of agricultural lands from the state land fund or from the municipality land fund, shall not be partitioned through right-transferring transactions during a period of 10 years as from the execution of the exchange.
Article 25
(1) (Supplemented, SG No. 13/2007) Agricultural land, which is not owned by citizens, legal persons or the State, shall be municipal property. The property of the municipalities over the plots and the pastures shall be public and shall not be proclaimed as private municipal property pursuant to the Act on the Municipal Property. The municipal council can determine a charge for use of the municipal plots and pastures, the revenues from which shall be used for their maintenance.
(2) (Supplemented, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997) Municipalities shall be reinstated in ownership of agricultural land of which they were dispossessed to benefit state-owned farms, labour co-operative farms, agricultural and industrial complexes, agricultural companies, as well as state-owned forest lands, where such land was included in the State forestry fund, except in the instances of forest nurseries and protective forest belts.
Article 26
(Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 45/1995, 87/1997) The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services may grant usufruct in state and municipal land to individuals where such land is in low-productivity or depopulated areas as determined by the Council of Ministers. Users, who have cultivated such land for a period over 10 years, may be granted ownership subject to a resolution of the Municipal Council and by order of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, when ownership of land from the State Land Reserve shall be granted.
Article 27
(1) (Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 45/1995, 79/1996) Proprietors of land incorporated in labour co-operative farms and state farms, members of labour co-operative farms or of other agricultural organisations set up on the basis thereof, as well as all persons in legal labour relations with them, shall be entitled to a share of such entities' property. Shares shall be assessed on the basis of a person's contribution to the acquisition thereof: contributed land, perennials, length of service and moneys paid up for the acquisition of machinery and equipment not cleared by subsequent payment. The distribution of shares shall be effected under the terms and procedures laid down in the Rules on the implementation of this Act, in equal proportions of contributed land and length of service and following the reimbursement of moneys provided for the acquisition of machinery and equipment not cleared by payment. Where a rightful claimant has not made contributions of land and fixed assets, his years of service shall be taken into account, provided they are not less than five (5).
(2) Members of co-operative farms shall have the right to withdraw their shares at termination of membership.
(3) Persons, and their inheritors, who have terminated their membership before this Act comes into force shall also be entitled to shares.
(4) (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
(5) (New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997) In the event that several persons under paragraph 1 have requested to be granted a certain chattel related to agricultural production in exchange of shares in the organisation under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, priority shall have those who manufacture agricultural produce or provide manufacturing services related thereto; and if several persons should satisfy this requirement, priority shall have those whose shares cover a larger portion of the requested chattel's value.
(6) (New, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, amended and supplemented, SG No. 98/1997, supplemented, SG No. 13/2007) Persons who have acquired ownership over buildings and facilities from the property of the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, shall be entitled to utilise, as of the day of the acquisition of the buildings and against payment, the non-built part of land surrounding such buildings within such size as set by the law for a period of one (1) year following the entry into force of the land allocation plan. The rental amount shall be determined by the respective District Governor. The said persons shall have the right to acquire the property over that land and over the built-up portion of it by way of:
1. (amended, SG No. 98/1997) a three-year instalment plan involving payment by equal annual instalments of the outstanding amount increased by 20 per cent of the annual inflation rate;
2. (repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
3. submitting of an equal amount of land to the State landed fund. If the person in question is a legal person, such submission of land may be effected by its members following the appropriate procedure.
(7) (Amended, SG No. 98/1997) Persons having a share in a co-operative under Article 27, upon leaving such co-operative shall have the right to receive a portion of the property of the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions in proportions corresponding to their shares.
Article 28
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992) Labour co-operative farms shall be reinstated in ownership of agricultural land, fixed and financial assets, etc. as dispossessed of them or of state-owned farms based on them to benefit other entities.
(2) Where such property is an indivisible part of existing assets and the project has not changed its purposes since its foundation, it shall be restituted to the proprietor who will reimburse the difference in value.
(3) Where a labour co-operative farm's property was ceded to a state owned farm, a tractor depot and to other state-owned organisations, and has been subsequently incorporated into corporate property, the labour co- operative farm's equity share, or that of its legal successors, shall be determined in proportion to the property transferred by the labour co- operative farm to a state-owned farm and to other state-owned organisations.
(4) (Repealed, SG No. 28/1992).
(5) (Repealed, SG No. 28/1992).
Article 29
(1) (Amended, SG No. 28/1992, SG No. 99/2002) The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the other religious denominations, co-operatives and other organisations, shall, at their request, be reinstated in ownership of agricultural land, as dispossessed, unless such land has since been lawfully built up for purposes other than farming, or granted to individuals. In such cases the above organisations shall be compensated with land equal in quality and area from the State or Municipal Land Reserves. In the absence of such land proprietors shall be compensated with registered compensation bonds.
(2) Subject to consent of the organisations under paragraph (1) above, reinstatement in ownership may be done elsewhere in the country.
Article 30
(1) (Amended, SG Nos. 87/1997, 98/1997, 68/1999) Any property of the expunged organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, which the persons specified in Article 27, paragraph 1 do not wish to receive as a share, and which cannot be sold out, shall be ceded gratis free to the municipality in whose territory it is located. In the presence of state property, municipalities shall be obligated to render the same to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
(2) (New, SG No. 68/1999) Following the expiry of a 5-year period starting from transferring the property under paragraph 1, sentence 1, such property shall pass into ownership of the municipality.
(3) (New, SG No. 68/1999) The documents of the expunged organisations under § 12 shall be submitted according to an inventory, by the persons under § 29 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Act on the Amendment of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act (promulgated, SG 45/1995, amended, 46/1995, 59/1995: Ruling No. 8/1995 of the Constitutional Court, amended, 79/1996, 15/1997: Ruling No. 3/1997 of the Constitutional Court, amended, 98/1997) to the Mayor in the municipality where the organisation had its registered seat.


Chapter Four
LANDED PROPERTY AUTHORITIES
(Title amended, SG No. 28/1992)
Article 31
(Amended, SG No. 28/1992)
(1) (Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 87/1997, 98/1997, 99/2002) Land property authorities shall be the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and all Regional Agriculture and Forestry Directorates and the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services.
(2) (New, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 68/1999) On a motion of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in agreement and co-ordination with the Finance Minister, the Council of Ministers shall adopt a tariff of state fees to be charged, for keeping and updating land reallocation plans and for any other administrative services provided by land property authorities. Revenues from such fees shall be deposited into the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Article 32
(Repealed, SG No. 28/1992)
Article 33
(Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 45/1995)
(1) (Judgment No. 7 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30. 06. 1995, amended, 79/1996, 87/1997, 99/2002) Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall be bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. They shall be established, re-established and disbanded by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry upon a proposal of the Regional Agriculture and Forestry Directorates. The Minister shall appoint and members of their staff.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 79/1996, 34/2000, 99/2002, 36/2004) Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall restore property over land and forests under the provisions of this Act, shall implement government agricultural policy on their territory, and shall conduct other activities under the Application Regulations to this Act and the Organisation Rules of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall keep and update land reallocation plans and other materials or data obtained in the course of implementing this Act, and shall issue land plans while transacting and partitioning agricultural land until cadastral maps and cadastral registers are adopted for their territory according to the provisions of the Cadastre and Property Register Act.
(3) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 87/1997, 106/2000) Performance of activities related to maintenance and update of land reallocation plans and of other materials and data obtained in result of the enforcement of this Act, shall be assigned by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, or by persons duly authorised by the Minister, on a motion by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service to contractors within one (1) month following the entry into force of land reallocation plans.
(4) (New, SG No. 79/1996, amended, SG No. 87/1997) The powers of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry relative to the implementation of this Act may also be exercised by persons authorised by him in writing.
(5) (Amended, SG No. 87/1997, 99/2002) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall determine the number of staff of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services.
(6) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The decisions of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services in relation to the restitution of ownership and the compensation of the owners pursuant to this Act and the Act Restoring Ownership of Forests and Forest Stock Land Tracts, as well as in relation to the granting of land to citizens, shall be signed by the director of the service and by the officials determined by an order of the director of the District Directorate "Agriculture and Forestry".
Article 34
(New, SG No. 98/1997)
(1) (Supplemented, SG No. 13/2007) At the request of the owners or legal users, farm estates the right of ownership whereto has been restituted shall be seized from the persons using them without legal grounds and shall be rendered to their lawful proprietors by an n order of the mayor of the municipality at the location of the estates.
(2) Both a mayor's ruling as well as his refusal to issue such ruling shall be appealable under the terms and procedures presented in the Administrative Procedure Code. No appeal shall suspend the execution of the ruling unless the court has ruled otherwise.
(3) A mayor's ruling shall be carried out through administrative channels and with the assistance of the national police authorities.
(4) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The lands under Article 19 shall be seized from the persons using them without legal grounds pursuant to the procedure of Article 65 of the Municipal Property Act.
(5) (Renumbered from Paragraph 4, SG No. 13/2007) No persons thus removed from the utilisation of the estate shall have any right to indemnification.
Article 34a
(New, SG No. 98/1997, repealed, SG No. 68/1999)
Article 34b
(New, SG No. 98/1997, repealed, SG No. 68/1999)
Article 34c
(New, SG No. 68/1999, amended, SG No. 99/2002)
In the cases under Article 17, paragraph 8 and under § 31, 32 and 34 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Act on the Amendment of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act (promulgated, SG 98/1997, amended, 36 and 88/1998), starting from the date of promulgation in the State Gazette of the ruling for the reworking of the plan under Article 17, paragraph 8, all rulings of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service and the public deeds based on factual possession for the property affected by the reworking, issued on the basis of these rulings, shall be considered null and void by rights.


Chapter Five
(New, SG No. 98/1997)
INDEMNIFICATION
Article 35
(1) (Amended, SG No. 16/2003) Where restitution of property cannot be effected in any other way stipulated statutorily, agricultural land owners that are subject to restitution under this Act, shall be indemnified with registered compensation bonds.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 47/2002)
(3) (Amended, SG Nos. 47/2002, 99/2002, 16/2003) Registered compensation bonds shall be registered and have no cash value. The terms of their emission, the transactions and payments through them shall be regulated by a separate act. They can only be used for purchasing by auction of agricultural land from the State landed fund, for participation of their holders in the privatisation, as well as for acquisition of title to, and use of, land under Article 27, paragraph 6. Only holders of registered compensation bonds shall have the right to participate in auctions for agricultural land from the State landed fund.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Registered compensation bonds shall be transferable without limitations.
(5) Registered compensation bonds shall be inheritable.
(6) Registered compensation bonds may not be put up as collateral security, nor can be used as a means of payment, except from the instances specified in paragraph 3.
(7) Registered compensation bonds shall have a par value of one thousand (1,000) units each. For the purpose of establishing the amount of indemnification payable to entitled persons by way of registered compensation bonds, as well as of any payments thereby in the instances specified in paragraph 3, each nominal value unit shall be equal to one (1) Bulgarian Lev.
Article 36
(1) Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall determine the pecuniary indemnification amount due and the number of registered compensation bonds owing to entitled persons under Article 35, paragraph 1.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002, SG No. 17/2006) The indemnification amount under paragraph 1, including the one concerning farmlands within the confines of urbanized territories (settlements and populated areas) shall be determined pursuant to the terms and conditions of a Council of Ministers Ordinance.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The appraisal of the municipal lands, upon which a right of use has been established on the basis of the acts referred to in § 4 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, shall be determined by a decision of the municipal council pursuant to the procedure of the on Municipal Property Act. The price determined by the municipal council shall not be higher than the appraisal determined pursuant to the procedure under paragraph 2.
Article 37
(Amended, SG No.47/2002, 99/2002)
Terms, deadlines and procedure of indemnification with registered compensation bonds shall be prescribed by the Rules for Implementation of this act.
Article 37a
(New, SG No.47/2002)
Land commissions shall be obliged to keep a register of the certification documents, sent to the bodies under the Transactions in Compensation Instruments Act, as well as of the certification documents received and delivered to owners of compensatory documents.
Chapter Five A
(New, SG No. 99/2002)
Use of Farmland
Article 37b
(Amended, SG No. 13/2007)
Each proprietor shall file with the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service at the estate location a declaration form indicating the type of business structure and the intended durable use of the lands. A declaration filed by one of the co-owners can be used by all the other co-owners. Users of farmland shall submit a copy of all lease, rent or joint farming contracts to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service. The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall keep a register of farmland proprietors and users and shall make information concerning them available in view of promoting the use of larger and the establishment of consolidated plots of land.
Article 37c
(1) (Amended, SG No. 13/2007) Consolidated plots for the use of farmland shall be established upon written agreement between proprietors and/or users. The conclusion of the agreement shall be conducted by a commission per each settlement at the territory of the municipality, appointed by an order of the municipal mayor. The commission shall be comprised by: the mayor of the settlement or the deputy mayor, representatives of the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service and representatives of the municipality. All users in the respective settlements shall submit to the commission the contracts concluded with the co-owners and registered in the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, a list of the leased or rented agricultural lands by plots and lots.
(2) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The agreement shall contain the data under paragraph 1, shall be signed by the users and the chairman of the commission, and shall be submitted to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service and the respective municipality. The agreement shall be concluded and updated each year by 30th March.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) When the users cannot reach an agreement, the commission shall draft a project for allocation of the use of the lands by plots by 10th April of the respective year according to the following manner:
1. the right to use the respective plot shall be granted to the user with the biggest share of leased/rented agricultural land in the plot;
2. the part of the plot regarding which there are no concluded contracts and there are no declarations submitted by their owners under Article 37b, shall be granted to the user with the biggest share of leased/rented agricultural land in the respective plot;
(4) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The commission shall draft a report to the municipal mayor, which shall contain the allocation of the plots for use, data about the lands under paragraph 3, item 2, about their proprietors and the rent payment due, on the basis of which the mayor shall issue an order.
(5) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The order under paragraph 4 shall be published in the mayoralty and in the building of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, and shall be published on the Internet site of the municipality and the respective district directorate "Agriculture and Forestry" by 15th April. The order shall be appealed according to the procedure of the Administrative Procedure Code.
(6) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The appeal of the order under paragraph 4 shall not stop its execution.
(7) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The user of agricultural lands who wants to benefit from the order in its part regarding the plot under paragraph 3, item 2, shall pay in beforehand into a special non-budget account of the municipality a sum in the amount of the average annual rental payment for the region for the previous year. The sums shall be deposits and shall be paid by the municipality to the entitled persons on the basis of the order of the mayor under paragraph 4 within three years.
(8) (New, SG No. 13/2007) A livery to use the respective plot or parts thereof shall be done by an order of the mayor of the respective municipality after the gathering of the harvest and payment of the sums under paragraph 7.
(9) (Renumbered from Paragraph 2, SG No. 13/2007) The plots shall be designated in an extract from the map of the settlement and shall be publicized at the Mayoralty and the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service.
Article 37d
The terms and conditions for designation of consolidated plots intended for farmland use, as well as those for entering, amending, and terminating agreements shall be laid out in the Rules for Implementation of this act.
Article 37e
(1) The State shall promote sales and exchanges of neighbouring estates in view of their consolidation, all costs related to technical activities on the occasion of sales or exchanges being covered by it.
(2) Individuals may not dispose of farmland acquired under Paragraph 1 from the State or municipal landed reserves for a period of 10 years.
Article 37f
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
(1) Upon a written agreement of the proprietors of agricultural lands with notarial certified signatures, the land division plan which entered into force and the approved map of the existing or restorable old actual boundaries of agricultural lands, as well as the map of the restituted property can be amended in order to create consolidated land estates.
(2) When there is a change in the boundaries of the agricultural lands Ц state or municipal property, the agreement under paragraph 1 about the state or municipal estates shall be concluded by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry or by a person authorised by him, respectively the municipal mayor, in a written form.
(3) The agreement on creation of consolidated land estates shall be entered into the Registry Agency.
(4) On the basis of the approved project for amendment of the plans and the maps and the entered agreement, the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall issue decisions and plans about the consolidated land estates. The decision shall describe the size and the category of the estate, its location (boundaries, neighbours) and the limitations on the ownership by stating the grounds for that. The proprietors shall be informed about the decision according to the procedure of the Code of Civil Procedure. The decision shall not be subject to an appeal. The ownership over the consolidated land estates shall be acquired from the date of the decision of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service. The decision, accompanied by a plan, shall certify the right of ownership and shall have the value of a notary deed.
(5) The mortgages imposed on the land estates before their consolidation shall be transferred in full to the newly established land estates.
(6) The expenses for creation of consolidated land estates by agreement of their proprietors shall be borne by them apart from those cases where the consolidation resulted as a consequence of technical infrastructure projects which concern the intended use of the land estates or parts thereof.
(7) The terms and procedure for amendments to the map of the restituted property by agreement of the owners shall be determined in the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
(8) For settlements with approved cadastral map the amendments shall be reflected according to the procedure of the Cadastre and Property Register Act.
Article 37g
(New, SG No. 13/2007)
The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall issue an ordinance on the terms and procedure for application of the plans for consolidation of the agricultural lands.


Chapter Six
(New, SG No. 98/1997)
ADMINISTRATIVE AND PENAL PROVISIONS
Article 38
(1) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any person who destroys, damages, removes or relocates a permanent landmark designating the supporting net or the boundaries of farm estates, shall be penalised by a fine in the amount of Bulgarian Leva (BGL) from two hundred and fifty (250) up to five hundred (500).
(2) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any person who destroys a field road traced under a land reallocation plan, or presents an obstacle to its tracing under a land reallocation plan, shall be penalised by a fine of BGL from five hundred (500) up to one thousand (1,000).
(3) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Where a violation under paragraphs 1 and 2 has been committed on the orders of a legal entity's official, the executive manager thereof shall be penalised by a fine in the amount of BGL from one thousand (1,000) up to two thousand (2,000), and the legal entity shall be penalised by a property sanction in the amount of BGL from two thousand (2,000) up to five thousand (5,000).
Article 38a
(New, SG No. 99/2002)
An individual or a legal entity which fails to perform its duty within the time-limit of Article 18, Paragraph 3 shall be sanctioned by a fine or penalty of BGN 500 to 1,000.
Article 39
(1) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any official who has failed to discharge his obligations under Article 7, paragraph 5, Article 15, paragraph 5, and Article 34, paragraph 1, shall be penalised by a fine in the amount of Bulgarian Leva (BGL) from five hundred (500) up to two thousand (2,000).
(2) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any official who has caused or allowed the approval of a land reallocation plan, or of other technical activities relating to the implementation of this Act, in violation of the requirements for their elaboration, shall be penalised by a fine of Bulgarian Leva (BGL) from one hundred and fifty (150) up to two thousand (2,000).
Article 40
(1) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any person who utilises without any legal ground a agricultural land estate the title whereto has been restituted, shall be penalised by a fine in the amount of Bulgarian Leva (BGL) from two thousand (2,000) up to ten thousand (10,000).
(2) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Any person who fails to obey an order for seizing such estate as provided for in Article 34, shall be penalised by a fine in the amount of Bulgarian Leva (BGL) from five hundred (500) up to two thousand (2,000).
Article 41
(1) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Violations under the preceding articles shall be ascertained by way of statements drawn up by an official designated by the district governor having jurisdiction over the location of the property.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Penal decrees shall be issued by the district governor having jurisdiction over the location of the property, or by a person duly authorised by the district governor.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) Penalties shall be deposited into the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
(4) Ascertainment of violations, as well as issuance, appeal and execution of penal decrees shall be effected under the terms and procedures prescribed in the Administrative Violations and Sanctions Act.


ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
(New, SG No. 79/1996)
§ 1. (Repealed, SG No. 13/2007).
§ 2. (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
§ 2a. (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
§ 2b. (New, SG No. 13/2007) "Small size estates" in the meaning of Article 24a, paragraph 3 shall be estates with surface up to 10 decares.


TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 3. (New, SG No. 28/1992)
(1) Disputes on the use of land of the State and Municipal Land Reserves, or on boundaries between the settlement territories, shall be settled according to the general legal procedure.
(2) (New, SG No. 45/1995) Until the dispute over boundaries between settlement territories is resolved land reallocation shall be made on the basis of the settlement territory confines established by the Integrated Cadastre of the Republic of Bulgaria Act.
(3) (New, SG No. 45/1995) In the event that settlement territory confines are amended by a court decision that has entered into force, the agricultural land reduction made by the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service under Article 15, paragraph 2 in the respective settlement territory shall remain into force.
(4) (New, SG No. 45/1995) Court rulings on amending confines of settlement territories for which land reallocation plans have already come into effect, shall not be reflected in the restituted rights of proprietors.
§ 4. (1) (Amended, SG Nos. 28/1992, 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30. 06. 1995; amended, SG No. 98/1997) Usufruct of agricultural land granted to individuals under any acts issued by the once Presidium of the National Assembly, State Council and the Council of Ministers, shall be hereby discontinued.
(2) (New, SG No. 68/1999) Populated areas shall be created under the provisions of Chapter III, Section II of the Territorial Administration of the Republic of Bulgaria Act on the lands under paragraph 1, where at least two thirds of the property situated on them, have been built up.
(3) (New, SG No. 68/1999, 99/2002) Lands under paragraph 2 situated in the immediate vicinity of the confines of urbanized territories, may be incorporated into them.
(4) (New, SG No. 68/1999, 106/2000) The mayors of municipalities shall propose to the municipal councils not later than 1 March 2001 belt line ranges of lands under paragraphs 2 and 3.
(5) (New, SG No. 68/1999, 99/2002) No fees as per Article 30 of the Agricultural Land Conservation Act shall be charged for incorporation of lands under paragraphs 2 and 3 into the confines of urbanized territories.
§ 4a. (New, SG Nos. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 105/1992, 83/1993, 80/1994, 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30.06.1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997)
(1) Individuals, enjoying usufruct of land under § 4, shall, in the event of strict adherence to all requirements of any state authorities' acts stated in such usufruct, acquire title to the usufructed land provided they had erected a building thereupon by March 1, 1991, and provided also they pay for such land to its owner via the municipality at prices set by the Council of Ministers pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 2, within three (3) months of the entry of such appraisal into force.
(2) Where a building's total floorage exceeds thirty-five (35) square metres, or is more than a single storey high, an individual coming into possession under this Act shall also pay in favour of the state a graduated fee in accordance with the building's floorage, and in such an amount as prescribed by the Council of Ministers. Such fee shall not be paid provided that as of January 1, 1992 the erected building served as the only residence of its owner's family, comprising of the spouses and their under aged children.
(3) In the event that the land-owner is not paid the value of his land under the terms and procedure set forth in paragraph 1 above, he shall acquire a good title to the building erected thereon, provided he pays for it to the land-usufructuary who erected the building, or to his inheritors, respectively, at prices set by the Council of Ministers.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) In the event that neither the value of the land, nor that of the building have been paid, both the building and the regulated landed estate determined within a plant of newly-formed estates under par. 4k attached to it shall be offered for public sale following the terms and procedures laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure.
(5) Where an usufructuary, by virtue of any of the acts specified in 4, has been granted usufruct of municipal or state owned land the title whereto is not restorable to citizens, such usufructuary shall acquire ownership provided he pays via the municipality the value of the land at prices set by the Council of Ministers under the terms of paragraph 1, pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 2, within three (3) months of the entry of the appraisal into force.
(6) In order to attain the hold of title in adherence to the requirements presented in § 4a, § 4b, § 4e and § 4h hereof, usufructuaries shall be required to make a statement of their intention to the respective municipality up to January 31, 1998.
§ 4b. (New, SG Nos. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 105/1992, 83/1993. 80/1994, 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30.06.1995, amended, SG No. 98/1997)
(1) (Amended, SG No. 123/1997) Individuals shall be reinstated in ownership of agricultural lands clear of erections and granted in usufruct under the acts stated in § 4. Where such lands are planted with vineyards or orchards, or where a plot of agricultural land is the only one held by an usufructuary's family residing permanently in the same settlement in whose territory the estate in issue is located, such usufructuary shall acquire title to the land, provided he pays for it to its owner via the municipality at prices set by the Council of Ministers pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 2, within three (3) months of the entry of such appraisal into force. No usufructuary shall be allowed to acquire title to any land lying at less that thirty (30) kilometres away from cities with a population exceeding three hundred thousand (300,000) inhabitants, irrespective of the municipality which it is situated in, or falling within 10 kilometres from the littoral strip.
(2) Where an usufructuary acquires title to land pursuant to paragraph 1 above, or to § 4a, instead of paying for the land he may offer to the land-owner to exchange it for a plot of land of his own, provided the land- owner is willing to accept the offer.
§ 4c. (Amended, SG No. 98/1997) Persons who have effected ameliorations on landed estates subject to restitution shall enjoy the rights stipulated for in Article 72 of the Ownership Act.
§ 4d. (Amended, SG No. 98/1997) Any land estate held and usufructed by any person without good legal grounds shall be subject to seizure. A seizure shall be effected following the procedure laid down in Article 34.
§ 4e. (Amended, SG No. 98/1997) Individuals enjoying usufruct of two or more landed estates shall have the right to acquire title, under the terms of § 4a and 4b, to one of them alone by exercising their own choice and making a statement to the respective municipality within the time limit specified in § 4a, paragraph 6.
§ 4f. (Amended, SG No. 98/1997, repealed, SG No. 68/1999)
§ 4g. (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 45/1995, Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/30 06.1995; amended, SG No. 98/1997) Funds under § 4a, 4b and 4h shall be raised in an extra-budgetary account with the municipalities and shall, along with the interest accrued, be used to indemnify former land-owners and usufructuaries. The amounts shall be paid within one month of their being deposited, under terms and procedures defined in the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
§ 4h. (New, SG No. 98/1997)
(1) Individuals whose usufruct of a property is transformed into a good title thereto pursuant to д 4a, paragraph 1, shall acquire title to plots of land up to six hundred (600) sq. m., and those under § 4a, paragraph 1 to plots of land up to one thousand (1,000) sq. m.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 68/1999) The differential between six hundred (600) sq. m. and one thousand (1,000) sq. m. and the actually usufructed plot of land shall be restituted to the land owners for the purpose of setting up new pieces of property with proportions of no less than two hundred and fifty (250) sq. m. under terms and procedures prescribed in the Rules on the implementation of this Act. Plots of land which cannot be used to establish a new piece of real estate shall be paid for by the usufructuaries to the proprietors at market prices, within three months of entry into force of the valuation.
§ 4i. (New, SG No. 98/1997)
(1) Land-owners or their inheritors shall have the right to file a claim for restitution of title to the land where it was granted in usufruct under § 4 and the subsequent, or has been transferred not by its owner, if the granting of such usufruct or the acquisition of the property has been effected in violation of any statutory and regulative instruments, as well as through a misuse of high official or communist party standing, or through an abuse of power.
(2) The rights under paragraph 1 shall be also enjoyed by the land- owners or their inheritors in any instances specified in Article 10, paragraph 7.
(3) In the event that a building has been erected on a plot of land in the instances under paragraphs 1 and 2, or some other ameliorations have been carried out, the relations between the land-owner and the usufructuary shall be settled in correspondence with Articles 73 and 74 of the Ownership Act.
§ 4k. (New, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 68/1999)
(1) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) A support plan and a plan of newly formed estates shall be designed for the lands granted in usufruct to individuals on the basis of the enactments specified in § 4.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) The support plant under paragraph 1 shall contain information both on the landed property granted in usufruct, and on the landed property which existed before the establishment of labour co- operative farms and state-owned farms.
(3) For the purpose of ascertaining the boundaries of landed property existing prior to the establishment of the labour co operative farms and state-owned farms, all information sources may be used: aerial photographs, photo diagrams, photo plans, cadastral plans, reallocation plans and other graphic materials and data. Where information from these sources on the boundaries of landed property is lacking, data shall be collected through inquiries, under terms and procedures provided for in the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) The contents of plans under Paragraph 1 and the terms and procedures for their design, adoption, and notification to the interested shall be stipulated in the Rules for Implementation of this Act.
(5) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) Plans under Paragraph 1 shall be developed by individuals who have acquired competency under the Cadastre and Property Register Act.
(6) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002, No. 30/2006, effective 1.03.2007) The plan of newly-formed estates shall be approved by the district governor. The ruling thereon shall be published in the State Gazette and announced in the media, including two national dailies, and posted at suitable locations of public access inside municipal HQ and Mayoralty buildings. Complaints against the approved plan of newly-formed estates may be filed with the administrative court within 14 days of the publication of said ruling in the State Gazette.
(7) Restitution, or acquisition, respectively, of ownership right on newly-formed landed property shall be executed by ruling of the mayor of the municipality, which shall be notified under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. The ruling shall set forth the location, confines, neighbours, as well as any limitations on the property and the reasons for such limitations. A plan of the property shall be annexed to the ruling.
(8) A plan of newly-formed estates which has already entered into force may be changed:
1. (amended, SG No. 99/2002) when the support plan on the basis of which it has been worked out, contains significant inadequacies or errors; where a material right is contested, the parties concerned shall assert their rights through the court;
2. when the plan contains an obvious factual error;
3. when the plan has been worked out in gross violation of the law, unless a court ruling has entered into force, or the plan has been annexed;
4. upon request of the court in relation to lawsuits for partition of property;
5. with the consent of all owners directly concerned.
(9) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) Financing of the plans under paragraph 1 shall be done from the State budget, according to an yearly programme formulated by the district governor in conjunction with the mayor of the municipality.
(10) (Amended, SG No. 99/2002) In respect of the plots of land under § 4, the district governor shall order that a support plan and a plan of newly-formed estates as of 30 September the previous year, be designed.
(11) (New, SG No. 99/2002) Where the Ruling for approval of plans of newly-formed estates under Paragraph 6 enters into force, once the cadastral map and registers for the respective territory have been approved and the introduction of an estate register has been announced, newly-formed estates shall be made part of the cadastre, and the Ruling under Paragraph 7 shall be entered in the estate register following the terms and conditions of the Cadastre and Property Register Act.
§ 4l. (New, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 68/1999) Valuations of land, buildings and ameliorations under § 4a, 4b, 4c and 4h shall be carried out by ruling of the mayor of the respective municipality, or of an official duly authorised by the mayor, within three months of entry into force of the plan of newly-formed estates, under terms and procedures set forth in the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
§ 5. Leases shall be honoured where land under lease is to remain as possession of or in use by the lessor. Should the opposite be the case, the lease shall be terminated as the rightful proprietor comes into possession, but in no case earlier than the crop has been gathered.
§ 6. (Repealed, SG No. 99/2002).
§ 7. (1) (Repealed, SG No. 57/1995).
(2) Annuity receipts from agricultural land shall be deducted from the sum dutiable to income tax.
(3) Natural persons shall be exempt from tax on buildings erected on agricultural land for a period of five years from the date of their entering into possession.
(4) Young families shall be exempt from income tax on farming receipts from vegetable and animal products for a period of eight years since the entering in force of this Act.
§ 8. (New, SG No. 28/1992) The inheritors of persons reinstated in ownership of agricultural land under this Act shall be exempt from inheritance tax.
§ 9. (New, SG No. 28/1992) Farm land subject to reinstated ownership under Article 10 of this Act and considered as forests in the sense of the Forestry Act, shall be subject to the provisions of the Forestry Act and the Hunting Estates Act.
§ 10. (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG Nos. 45/1995, 79/1996) Agricultural lands the ownership wherein has been reinstated under the provisions of this Act, and which are construed as forests in the accepted meaning of the Forestry Act may, at their proprietors' request, be commuted for other agricultural land from the landed reserve of the respective settlement or within the territory of an adjacent settlement, and by the proprietors' consent - within a different territory just as well.
§ 11. (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 45/1995)
(1) All transactions concluded in violation of the Decision of the National Assembly on Temporary Halting of Disposal with Property (SG No. 1/1992) shall be null and void.
(2) All auctions of property of organisations under § 12, held in violation of the terms and procedures specified for them, as well as any deals made on the basis of such auctions shall be null and void. Such property shall be confiscated under Article 16 of the Ownership Act by ruling of the district governor.
(3) Subject to annulment shall be deals with property of organisations under § 12 made by liquidation councils at obviously unfavourable terms. Annulment claims may be filed within one year of the entry into force of this Act by any of the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 or on their behalf by a co operative or company of which they are members of shareholders.
§ 12. (New, SG No. 28/1992) Terminates all existing TKZS and farm co operatives established under § 7 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Co-operatives Act. Terminates all existing organisations and companies registered under Decree No. 922 on Land Use and Farming (promulg. SG, No. 39/1989, amend. No. 10/1990, repeal. No. 63/1991) and Decree No. 56 on Economic Activity with property and share in equity of farming teams, farm co-operatives, TKZS, tractor depot, APK and agricultural institutes. Terminates the existence of co-operatives registered under the Co-operatives Act, when the provisions under Article 33, paragraph (3) of that Act have not been observed and contribution of agricultural land has been envisaged in their By laws.
§ 13. (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG Nos. 48/1993).
(1) The liquidation of the organisations under § 12 shall be carried out by Liquidation Councils, composed of a chairman and up to two members.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 87/1997) The members of the Liquidation Councils shall be dismissed and appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry upon a proposal by the regional agricultural offices in consultation with the respective mayors of communities. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall also make changes or shall fill in vacancies in the respective Liquidation Council on his own initiative through a procedure to be determined by the Council of Ministers.
(3) The Liquidation Councils shall terminate their activities with the deletion of the organisations under § 12 from the register of the respective district court.
(4) (Amended, SG 87/1997) The regional agricultural offices shall, in consultation with the respective mayors of communities, forward to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry within one month of the entry into force of this Act a reasoned proposal on changes or filling in of vacancies in the respective Liquidation Councils.
(5) The Liquidation Council shall:
1. organise and manage the activities of the organisation under § 12 until its deletion from the register of the respective district court and shall have the rights and obligations of the Managing Board, while the Chairman of the Liquidation Council shall execute the rights and obligations of the organisation's head;
2. determine the shares under Article 27, paragraph (1) and grant ownership or co-ownership of property based on such shares;
3. distribute the in-kind property among the persons possessing the right to a share in accordance with the shares owned by them;
4. undertake other actions pertaining to liquidation under the Rules on the implementation of this Act.
(6) The Liquidation Councils shall file with the respective district courts applications for deletion of the organisations under § 12 immediately after the ending of the liquidation activities.
(7) (Amended, SG No. 45/1995) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall carry out the guidance and supervision of the activities of the Liquidation Councils. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, or a person duly authorised by the Minister, may revoke acts of the liquidation councils, including after termination of the latter within one year of the entry into force of this Act. He shall determine the final deadline for their work in accordance with the liquidation activities performed.
(8) (Amended, SG No. 45/1995) The members of the Liquidation Councils shall be liable jointly and severally for the damages they have caused to the organisations under § 12 and to the persons possessing a share in the property. Persons eligible to receive shares may empower co-operatives or companies of which they are members to file claims under this paragraph on their behalf. Such claims shall be exempt of state fees.
(9) (Amended, SG. No. 45/1995) Within one (1) year of the entry into force of this Act the Ministry of Finance shall organise and carry out financial control of the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, including after such organisations are terminated. The funds necessary for exercising financial control shall be allocated from the State budget. The audit statements and penal statements shall also be sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Within the legal process in respect to claims under paragraph 8 the factual findings in audit statements shall be considered true until proved false.
§ 14. (New, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 48/1993)
(1) The obligations of the organisations under § 12 to the banks with state participation, as existent by December 31, 1992, shall be converted to state debt under terms and procedures to be determined by the Council of Ministers.
(2) The State shall assume the rights of the organisations under § 12 for all their claims towards third parties natural or legal persons which have arisen by December 31, 1992.
(3) Movable and immovable property of liquidated labour co operative farms necessary for their activities may not be subject to execution.
§ 15. (New, SG No. 28/1992, repealed, SG No. 88/1998).
§ 16. (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 104/1996, 98/1997).
(1) (Amended, SG No. 104/1996, 98/1997) Court proceedings under this Act shall be free with the exception of the ones under Article 14, paragraph 4.
(2) (New, SG No. 98/1997) Conduct of technical activities relating to the execution of court rulings whereby the right to reinstatement in agricultural land under Article 11, paragraph 2 has been adjudged, shall be paid for by the land-owners.
(3) (Former paragraph 2, renumbered and amended, SG Nos. 98/1997, 68/1999) Revenues from activities related to the keeping and updating of land reallocation plans shall be paid into the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
§ 17. Financing required for the enforcement of this Act shall be provided from the State budget, as requested by the Council of Ministers.
§ 18. (New, SG No. 48/1993, repealed, SG No. 99/2002).
§ 19. This Act is hereby assigned for enforcement to the Council of Ministers which shall issue Rules on the implementation thereof.
This Act was submitted to a vote and duly adopted by the Grand National Assembly on March 20, 1992 and the State Seal was affixed hereto.


AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 28/20.03.1992
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 40. The sentence "No charges shall be payable for court proceedings pursuant to this Act" shall be added to the end of Article 7 of the Property Reinstatement of Nationalised Immovables Act.
§ 41. Within one (1) month of the date of entry of this Act into force, the Council of Ministers shall revoke land expropriations for State purposes, when expropriated land has not been used for such purposes or they have dropped off.
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 45/16.05.1995
Judgment No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria -
SG No. 59/1995, amended SG Nos. 79/1996, Judgment No. 3 of the
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 15/1995
amended, SG No. 98 ?


TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 28. (1) (Third sentence - Declared unconstitutional by Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/1995, amended, SG No. 79/1996, Fifth sentence - Declared unconstitutional by Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 15/1997) With the entry into force of this Act liquidation councils shall be terminated and the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act shall be deleted from the registers of district courts. The members of liquidation councils shall not receive compensation under Article 220, 222 and 224 of the Labour Code. Disputes arising out of dismissals of members of liquidation councils shall not be examined by the courts. Pending cases and pending execution proceedings where to organisations under § 12 of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act are defendants or debtors shall be discontinued, while those to which they are plaintiffs or claimants may be continued by the persons under § 29, paragraph 1.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 79/1996) Property of organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act shall be the joint property of persons under Article 27, paragraph 1, commensurate with their rights, with the exception of perennials following the restitution of ownership over the land whereupon they have been planted. The shares of persons who are not to receive perennials shall be equalised by supplement of other property in compensation. The General Meeting of persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 shall be empowered to adopt changes to the assessment of property of organisations under § 12 of the same Act. Each person under Article 27, paragraph 1 shall enjoy the rights under Article 28 commensurate with his share in the property of an organisation under § 12. A person may delegate such rights as well as authorise a co-operative or a company of which he is a member or a shareholder to exercise such rights at his expense and account, inclusive of the right to file claims in connection therewith.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 79/1996) Persons who have effected ameliorations of real estates belonging to organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act, shall have the right to request that the owner repays to them the cost of such ameliorations under the provisos of Articles 72 and 74 of the Property Act or Article 59 of the Obligations and Contracts Act.
(4) The documents of the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions shall be handed over as per document lists to the mayors of the municipalities where such organisations have their principal offices and shall be kept by them. Mayors shall provide information to interested parties on the grounds of such documents. They shall present all documents of organisations under § 12 to the persons under § 29, paragraph 1 upon their request.
(5) Banks, other legal persons and sole traders may deduct from their taxable profits any amounts due to them by organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions for three years after the deletion of such organisations from the registers.
(6) (New, SG No. 79/1996) No Value Added Tax shall be due for mechanised farming services provided but not paid for, and for seeds, fertilisers and preparations (chemicals) sold to organisations deleted from court registers under paragraph 1 hereinabove. The liabilities of such organisations to the State and municipal budget shall be written off as uncollectable.
§ 29. (1) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/1996, 98/1997) The General Meeting of persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 may appoint physical or legal persons to distribute the property of the organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, including their moneys in banks. They shall provide information on the state property to the government authorities. Where a person or a group of persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 are not willing to receive a certain chattel of property belonging to an organisation under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act, the General Meeting of the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 may authorise in writing persons to have such chattel sold. Sale of motor vehicles and immovable property (real estate) shall be made by an agreement in writing and shall require a notary certification of the parties' hands. The price fetched shall be allotted to the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 commensurate with their rights. Prescription time for acquisition of shares under Article 27, paragraph 1 shall be five (5) years effective as of the date of termination of an organisation under § 12. Following the expiry of such term all remaining property shall be apportioned to all remaining persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 commensurate with their rights.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 79/1996) Persons under paragraph 1 may receive from debtors to organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act in exchange of their debt shares or stakes in their capital, or chattels which they shall apportion to the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1.
(3) (New, SG No. 79/1996) Persons under paragraph 1 shall have the right to transfer to persons under Article 27, paragraph 1, and by their consent to other persons as well, collections of organisations deleted under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act, inclusive of their rights under Article 28 of the same Act. Such transfer shall be effected in exchange of their share in the property of the deleted organisations by way of an agreement in writing.
(4) A General Meeting shall be held in the settlement where an organisation under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions used to have its principal office. The General Meeting shall be called by at least 50 persons eligible to receive shares, or by the mayor of the settlement where the organisation under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions had its principal office, by announcement published in the local or national media. In the event that more than half of the persons eligible to attend the meeting should fail to appear on the announced date and time, the General Meeting shall be postponed for the next day and may sit on that day with the same agenda and adopt decisions irrespective of the number of persons attending it. Decisions shall be adopted by open ballot and simple majority of those in attendance. Each person shall have the right to one vote. Heirs of a person eligible to receive shares shall have the right to one vote in the General Meeting and shall be counted as one when the quorum is established. The minutes of the meeting shall be certified by the mayor of the settlement.
(5) Whenever many persons are eligible to attend a General Meeting or the operation of the organisation under § 12 has covered several settlements, a meeting of authorised representatives may be called which shall be governed by the preceding paragraphs. The number of authorised representatives may not be smaller than 100. The number of persons represented by one representative shall be determined by the mayor of the settlement where the organisation under § 12 had its principal office, or by the General Meeting.
(6) (New, SG No. 79/1996) The persons under paragraph 1 shall be jointly liable materially for damages they have inflicted to persons entitled to a share of the property of organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act, inclusive of the damages inflicted to the state property husbanded by them.
(7) (New, SG No. 79/1996) The persons under paragraph 1 shall report to the General Meeting on the husbandry and manage, and allocation of property. The General Meeting shall adopt the statement on the closure of their activities and may decide that a financial audit be carried out, where the expenditures for such audit shall be borne by the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1.
(8) (New, SG No. 98/1997, amended, SG No. 124/1997) The General Meeting of the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1 shall set a time limit for the appointed persons to allocate the property of the organisations whose existence has been terminated under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, which shall be not later than 31 December 1997. Such term shall not apply to property and chattels where over litigation is pending in court. The authorised representatives shall represent the General Meeting in court until pending lawsuits are finally decided or settled, where after they shall allocate such property within two (2) months.
(9) (New, SG No. 98/1997) Null and void shall be announced such auctions and decisions about distribution of the property of the organisations whose existence has been terminated under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions made by the persons appointed or authorised under paragraph 1, which are in violation of the terms and procedures for holding such auctions provided for in the Act, the Rules on its implementation and the resolutions of the General Meeting of rightful claimants. Null and void shall also be announced the transactions based on these auctions and decisions. Such property shall be confiscated under the provisions of Article 80 of the State Property Act by ruling of the district governor.
§ 30. (1) The rulings of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services on restitution of ownership issued prior to the entry into force of this Act shall remain in force on the terms described in Article 14.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 79/1996)
(3) The transactions announced null and void under the former '11 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions, shall be valid if the parties to such transactions have not returned items they have received under those transactions prior to the entry into force of this Act.
(4) Land reallocation plans which have not come into effect on the day of entry into force of this Act shall be prepared under the requirements of this Act.
§ 31. Everywhere in the Act "Ministry of Agriculture" and "Minister of
Agriculture" shall be replaced with "Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry" and "Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry", respectively.
§ 32. The persons under Article 10c, paragraph 2 shall specify in express petitions their choice of manner of compensation within one year of entry into force of this Act.
§ 33. All cases under Article 11, paragraph 1 pending at the time of the entry into force of this Act, shall be examined in the manner applicable prior to the adoption of this Act.
§ 34. For rulings of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services, the terms under Article 14, paragraph 7 shall commence as of the entry into force of this Act.
§ 35. In § 6, paragraph 4 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Transformation and Privatisation of State and Municipal Enterprises Act, "within four months following the entry into force of this Act" shall be replaced with "until December 31, 1996".
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 79/17.09.1996, amended SG No. 98/1997
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 24. Such projects of land reallocation plans whereof no announcement of their elaboration has been promulgated in the official State Gazette as of the date of entry of this Act into force, shall be drawn up pursuant to the requirements thereof.
§ 25. In respect of land reallocation plans that have entered into force, the time limit under Article 17, paragraph 8 of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act shall be effective as of the entry into force of this Act.
§ 26. (Repealed, SG No. 98/1997).
§ 27. Persons under Article 10b, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, Article 10c, Article 15 paragraph 2 of the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act shall, within one (1) year following the entry into force of this Act, specify in additional applications the mode of indemnification.


AN AMENDMENT ENACTMENT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL
LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 62/05.08.1997
TRANSITIONAL PROVISION
§ 2. Pendent court proceedings instituted under appeals to the Supreme Court of Administrative Appeal for judicial re-examination of regional courts' rulings under Article 14, paragraph 3 hereof, shall be terminated and send to the respective District Courts in accordance with the jurisdiction thereof.
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 98/28.10.1997
Amended SG No. 36 ?
106/2000
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 30. (Amended, SG No. 36/1998, 68/1999) Persons under Article 10c, paragraph 1, items 2 and 3 and paragraphs 2 and 4 may file applications with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry following the entry into force of this Act, by 31 October, 1999.
§ 31. Persons who have failed, within the time limit under Article 14, paragraph 3, to appeal against land reallocation plans and rulings of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service under Article 14, paragraph 1, items 1 and 2, which have already become effective, may make an appeal within one month of the entry into force of this Act.
§ 32. Where the time periods under article 14, paragraph 7 have expired, the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service shall rule amendment to its ruling already made, within one month of the entry into force of this Act.
§ 33. (Repealed SG No. 106/2000).
§ 34. Persons concerned are entitled, within three months of the entry into force of this Act to request that the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service rescind its rulings which disallowed them reinstatement of ownership over agricultural land, on the grounds of the repealed, amended respectively, provisions of this Act.
§ 35. A claim under § 4 shall be made within one year of the entry into force of this Act, and legal proceedings shall be exempt of stamp duty.
§ 36. Usufructuaries who have filed applications for valuation to the municipal councils having jurisdiction over the property prior to 30 September 1995 under § 4a and 4b, shall retain their rights to have such valuation made by virtue of this Act.
§ 37. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall announce in the official State Gazette the territories in which proceedings shall be suspended on the reinstatement in ownership of lands which are under the jurisdiction both of the Union Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia until this issue has been resolved on governmental level with the Union Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia.
§ 38. The decree under Article 37 shall be drafted jointly by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the Minister of Finance and shall be adopted by the Council of Ministers by 31 December 1997.
§ 39. Projects of land reallocation plans for which no announcement has been made in the official State Gazette as of the date of entry into force of this Act, shall be made in accordance with its requirements.


AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 88/31.07.1998
ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
§ 11. (1) In cities with regional partitioning, mayoral competencies relevant to enforcement of the Act and the enforcement rules thereof may also be exercised by officials empowered by the Mayor.
(2) The functions of the municipal technical service, entrusted with the enforcement of the law and the enforcement rules thereof, may be assigned to the regional technical services, pursuant of a Municipal Council resolution.
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 12. (1) When the disposition of the property of organisations under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions has not been completed, the Regional Governor shall convene a General Meeting of the persons envisioned in Article 27, paragraph 1 within two months of the enactment of the current Act.
(2) The General Meeting shall be announced by means of a notice in the local and national media and it shall be displayed in a visible location in the Town Hall of the respective settlement.
(3) If on the date and hour set for the General Meeting of the persons under Article 27, paragraph 1, the persons holding altogether over 50 per cent of the shares fail to appear, the General Meeting shall be postponed by an hour and may adopt decisions in the presence of persons holding no less than 30 per cent of the shares. Decisions shall be adopted by open vote and on an ordinary majority of represented shares. Each person shall be entitled to a number of votes proportionate to participation expressed as a percentage rate of shares held compared to the total property of the organisation under § 12 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions. The heirs of a person entitled to shares shall be eligible to as many votes as their Grantor held shares. The General Meeting shall be attended by the Regional Governor or an official empowered by him. In the event that a General Meeting is unfeasible, a new General Meeting shall be convened within one month, under the conditions of paragraph 1.
(4) At the General Meeting, the persons under § 29, paragraph 1 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Amendment Act to the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act (Promulgated SG, No. 45/1995, amended Nos. 46/1995, 59/1995 Resolution No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of 1995, 79/1996, 15/1997 - Resolution No. 3 of the Constitutional Court of 1997, 98/1997) shall report on performance.
(5) The convened General Meeting may extend the operation of the persons under § 29, paragraph 1 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Amendment Act to the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act (Promulgated SG, No 45/1995, amended Nos 46/1995, 59/1995 - Resolution No 8 of the Constitutional Court of 1995, 79/1996, 15/1997 - Resolution No 3 of the Constitutional Court of 1997, 98/1997) or it may designate new persons, through elections, assigning them the competencies under § 29, paragraph 1 for a period not exceeding 6 months of the date of the Meeting, and similarly representation in pending lawsuits pursuant of § 29, paragraph 8 of the Transitional and Concluding Provisions of the Amendment Act to the Ownership and Use of Agricultural land Act (Promulgated SG, No 45/1995, amended Nos. 46/1995, 59/1995 - Resolution No. 8 of the Constitutional Court of 1995, 79/1996, 15/1997 - Resolution No. 3 of the Constitutional Court of 1997, 98/1997).
(6) The Regional Governor or the official empowered by him shall monitor the legitimacy of the Meeting; by verifying the minutes of the latter and by monitoring compliance with the deadline on the final disposition of property.
(7) Persons under paragraph 5 shall be subject to joint liability.
LEV RE-DENOMINATION ACT
Promulgated, SG No. 20/5.03.1999, amended, SG No. 65/20.07.1999
(effective 5.07.1999)
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
.......................................................................
§ 4. (1) (Amended, SG No. 65/1999) Upon the entry of this Act into force, all figures expressed in old lev terms as indicated in the laws which will have entered into force prior to the 5th day of July 1999 shall be replaced by figures expressed in new lev terms, reduced by a factor of 1,000. The replacement of all figures expressed in old lev terms, reduced by a factor of 1,000, shall furthermore apply to all laws passed prior to the 5th day of July 1999 which have entered or will enter into force after the 5th day of July 1999.
(2) The authorities, which have adopted or issued any acts of subordinate legislation which will have entered into force prior to the 5th day of July 1999 and which contain figures expressed in lev terms, shall amend the said acts to bring them in conformity with this Act so that the amendments apply as from the date of entry of this Act into force.
.......................................................................
§ 5. This Act shall enter into force on the 5th day of July 1999.
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 68/30.07.1999, effective 30.07.1999
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 21. Notarial title deeds based on rulings of the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services, which have entered into force, shall be issued under the current procedure, in case applications for the issuance of such rulings have been filed with the respective Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, or draft notarial title deeds have been submitted to the notaries, prior to this Act's entry into force.
§ 22. In relation to proposals by a Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, for which the municipal council has made no ruling, the one-month period under Article 10b, paragraph 1 shall be considered to start from the date of this Act's entry into force.
§ 23. The provisions of Article 14, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, sentence four, and of Article 17, paragraph 1, sentence six, shall also apply to rulings of Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services which have already entered into force, with plans annexed thereto, on the basis of which no notarial title deeds have been issued prior to this Act's entry into force, except in the cases under § 21.
§ 24. Pendent administrative penal proceedings shall be completed by the bodies, and under the terms and procedures, provided for in this Act.
§ 25. (1) Contracts for designing the plans under § 4k, paragraph 1, concluded prior to this Act's entry into force, shall be completed by the party which contracted with the supplier.
(2) Plans of newly-formed landed property the designing of which was contracted prior to this Act's entry into force, shall be made under the provisions stipulated therein.
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 106/22.12.2000
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 6. Within three months following the entry into force of this Act, the persons under Article 10c, paragraph 2 may file petitions to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services having jurisdiction over the restituted property, and the persons under Article 10c, paragraph 4 may file petitions to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
to the Act on Transactions with compensatory Instruments
(SG No. 47/2002, effective 11.06.2002)
§ 5. Only the persons who made a request prior to the entry into force of this Act shall be authorised to receive a compensation under Article 31, paragraph 3 of the Water Act and under Article 35, paragraph 2 of the Act on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Lands.
AMENDMENT ACT TO THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ACT
(Promulgated State Gazette No. 99/22.10.2002
amended, SG No. 38/2004, SG No. 87/2005,
effective 26.10.2005)
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
§ 30. (1) Interested individuals and entities may, within six months of the entry into force of this act, request the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, to repeal decisions for refusal to restitute property of farmland confiscated by virtue of convictions under the Ordinance-Act on Prosecution by a Popular Court of Those Guilty of Involving Bulgaria in the World War against the Allied Nations and of the Felonies thereto Related.
(2) Individuals who have not submitted a statement for restitution of confiscated farmland by virtue of convictions under the Ordinance-Act on Prosecution by a Popular Court of Those Guilty of Involving Bulgaria in the World War against the Allied Nations and of the Felonies thereto Related to the Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service, shall be entitled to do so within six months of the entry into force of this act.
§ 31. Individuals under Article 10c, Paragraph 1, item 2 and 3 may submit a request to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry within six months of the entry into force of this act.
§ 32. (1) Land boards under Chapter Four shall be transformed into Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services attached to Regional Agriculture and Forestry Directorates as of the date of entry into force of this act.
(2) The Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services shall succeed into operations, possessions, rights, and obligations of land boards.
§ 33. (1) The time limit under Article 5, Paragraph 1 starts running at the date of entry into force of decisions for restitution of property titles of the Municipal Services.
(2) The time limit under Article 5, Paragraph 1 with regard to decisions found of land boards for restitution of property titles that have entered into force, starts running from the entry into force of this act.
§ 34. (1) With regard to decisions found the one-year time limit under Article 19a, Paragraph 7 starts running from the entry into force of this act.
(2) The list under Article 19a, Paragraph 8 shall be published in the State Gazette within one month of the entry into force of this act.
§ 35. (1) (Amended, SG No. 38/2004, SG No. 87/2005, SG No. 13/2007) Amounts chargeable for use of adjacent and built-up lands under Article 27, Paragraph 6, shall not be payable in cases where entitled individuals submit a request to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry for acquisition of title of property over them within five years following this Act's entry into force.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 38/2004, SG No. 87/2005) Upon expiry of the above four year term land title under Paragraph 1 shall be acquired as under the terms and conditions of the State Property Act. Land use charges shall then be payable.
(3) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall make a proposal to the district governor for issue of acts of state property according to data, submitted by the district directorates "Agriculture and Forestry" within one month from the filing of the request under paragraph 1.
(4) (New, SG No. 13/2007) The district governor at the location of the estate shall issue an act of state property for the lands from the former farm yards of the organisations under § 12 of the transitional and concluding provisions and under § 29 of the transitional and concluding provisions of the Act on Amendment and Supplement to the Act on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Lands (promulgated SG, No. 45/1995; amended No.46/1995, No.59/1995 - Decision No.8/1995 of the Constitutional Court; amended No.79/1996, No.15/1997 - Decision No.3/1997 of the Constitutional Court; amended No.98/1997, No.124/1997), upon which there are buildings and/or facilities from their property without taking into consideration whether these have been legally built, as well as regarding the non-occupied with buildings and facilities or adjacent to them surfaces but unfit for agricultural use and lands which are not subject to restitution, within one month from the filing of the proposal under paragraph 3.
§ 36. Statements under Article 37b, Paragraph 1 shall be filed within six months of the entry into force of this act. Upon a modification in the business structure and the mode of durable intended use of land proprietors shall file a new statement within one month of said occurrence.
§ 37. The words "land board" and "land boards" shall be replaced with "Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Service" and, correspondingly, with "Municipal Agriculture and Forestry Services", everywhere inside this act.
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
To the Law for Amendment of the Cadastre and Property Register Act
(SG No 36/2004)
§ 62. Within three months' time from the promulgation of this law in the State Gazette, the entries under the name system shall be performed by the registry offices reporting to the Registry Agency.
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
to the Act on Veterinary Medical Activity
(SG No. 87/2005, effective 1.05.2006)
§ 23. Within three months from the entry into force of the Act the Council of Ministers shall submit to the National Assembly a draft law on protection of the animals.
§ 24. Within six months from the entry into force of the Act the Council of Ministers shall submit to the National Assembly a draft law on national guild organisation of the veterinary doctors in practice and the procedure for exercising veterinary medical practice.
§ 25. The secondary legislation acts issued prior to the entry into force of this Act shall be applied as far as they do not run counter to it and until their explicit repeal.
§ 26. (1) The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry shall issue the ordinances on the implementation of this Act within one year of its entry into force.
(2) Within six months of the promulgation of this Act in the "State Gazette" the Council of Ministers shall adopt the ordinance under Article 109 and shall approve the tariff under Article14, paragraph 2.
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
of the Administrative Procedure Code
(SG, No. 30/2006, effective 12.07.2006)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
§ 117. Everywhere in the Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act (Promulgated State Gazette No. 17/1991, Corrected, SG No. 20/1991, amended and supplemented, SG No. 74/1991, amended, SG No. 18/1992, amended and supplemented, SG No. 28/1992, amended, SG No. 46/1992, 105/1992, amended and supplemented, SG No. 48/1993, Judgment No. 12/1993 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 64/1993, amended, SG No. 83/1993, SG No. 80/1994, amended and supplemented, SG No. 45/1995, amended, SG No. 57/1995, Judgment No. 7 and 8/1995 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 59/1995, amended and supplemented, SG No. 79/1996, Judgment No. 20/1996 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 103/1996, amended, SG No. 104/1996, Judgment No. 3/1997 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria - SG No. 15/1997, supplemented, SG No. 62/1997, amended and supplemented, SG No. 87/1997, SG No. 98/1997, SG No. 123/1997, supplemented SG No. 124/1997, amended, SG No. 36/1998, 59/1998, amended and supplemented, SG No. 88/1998, amended, SG No. 133/1998, amended and supplemented, SG No. 68/1999, amended, SG No. 34/2000, amended and supplemented, SG No. 106/2000, amended, SG No. 28/2002, amended and supplemented, SG No. 47/2002, 99/2002, amended, SG No. 16/2003, SG No. 36/2004, SG No. 38/2004, SG No. 87/2005, SG No. 17/2006)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3. the words "the Administrative Procedure Act" shall be replaced by "the Administrative Procedure Code".
TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
to the Act on Amendment and Supplement to
the Act on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Lands
(SG No. 13/2007)
§ 22. The claims under Article 11, paragraph 2 shall be submitted within three months of the entry into force of this Act.
§ 23. The term under Article 19, paragraphs 4, 8 and 10 shall run as from the entry into force of this Act.
§ 24. When the coefficient under Article 19a, paragraph 5 is determined towards the day of the entry into force of this Act, the plans for compensation shall be prepared according to the procedure into force until now.
§ 25. (1) For those decisions for compensation which have entered into force, the one year term under Article 19a, paragraph 7 shall run from the entry into force of this Act.
(2) The land procedures which have not been terminated shall be finalised according to the procedure into force until now.
(3) For those decisions for granting of land which have entered into force, the two year term under Article 23a shall run from the entry into force of this Act.
§ 26. (1) This act shall be implemented also to the status quo agricultural lands which remained after the restitution of the rights of the owners which the municipality runs and manages or which it has acquired after the expiry of the ten year term from the entry into force of the land allocation plan and the approved map of the existing and restorable old actual boundaries.
(2) The pending proceedings under Article 35 of the Municipal Property Act shall be finalised pursuant to the procedure into force until now.
(3) The lease and rent contracts for the lands under paragraph 1 with a term more than three, respectively four years, shall be deemed concluded without a specific term from the day of the occurrence of one of the following conditions under Article 19, paragraph 4, items 1-3. The contracts shall be terminated under the conditions of § 5 of the transitional and concluding provisions.
§ 27. The persons under Article 10c, paragraph 1, item 2 and 3 can submit an application at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry within one year from the entry into force of this Act.
§ 28. Until the approval of the cadastral map and the cadastral registers, the amendment and the maintenance of the entered into force plans of the newly established estates under § 4k of the transitional and concluding provisions shall be done by the municipal administration.
§ 29. When in cases of established right of use over lands - municipal property, on the basis of the acts under § 4 of the transitional and concluding provisions, the value of the land is not paid, within one year from the entry into force of this Act the users can ask for determination of an appraisal pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 3 and pay the price of the land within three months from the entry into force of the appraisal.
§ 30. The pending proceedings under Article 11, paragraph 2 shall be terminated pursuant to the terms and procedure of this Act.


read previous
« 



Contact us and receive free initial legal advice


Contact Solicitor Bulgaria

Phone numbers:

Email: info@solicitorbulgaria.com
Web site: www.solicitorbulgaria.com


Office address:
Coutry: Bulgaria
City: Sofia
Street Address: Region Sredets, 7 Slaveikov Square, Entrance B, Floor 2, Ap. 19
Post Code: 1000
View Map