Information about the organization



This page gathers key information on Bulgaria's negotiations to join the WTO. Bulgaria became the 130th WTO member on 1 December 1996. As of 1 January 2007 it is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right.

> Page for Bulgaria as a Member





WTO accession process in brief



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Bulgaria's Timeline

I. Overview
GATT application received 08/09/1986  L/6023
- revised 17/10/1986  L/6023/Add.1
GATT Accession Working Party established 05/11/1986  C/M/204
GATT Terms of reference & accession Working Party membership 20/02/1990  C/M/239
- updated 10/04/1990  L/6667 (rev.1; rev.2; rev.3; rev.4;)
WTO application received & WTO accession Working Party established  11/04/1995  WT/L/58 (Request to transform the Working Party on the Accession of Bulgaria to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 into a WTO accession Working Party. As per document WT/L/58 of 11 April 1995, the Working Party on the Accession of Bulgaria to the GATT 1947 was transformed into a WTO Accession Working Party, in accordance with the decision adopted by the General Council on 31 January 1995. Document WT/L/58 also reproduced the name of the Chairperson and the terms of reference of the Working Party.)
WTO terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  05/08/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/4
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party    
2nd 11/1990 - 12/1996 Ambassador Erik CARLSON SELMER (Norway)
1st 04/1990 - 10/1990 Ambassador Michael LILLIS (Ireland)
Formal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening notice Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation Statement(s) by Working Party members Delegation list Other documents for the meeting News item
1st (GATT) 15/07/1991  GATT/AIR/3201  SPEC(91)72
2nd (GATT) 12/07/1993  GATT/AIR/3454
3rd (GATT) 04/11/1993  GATT/AIR/3469
4th (GATT) 28/03/1994  GATT/AIR/3558
5th (GATT) 07/07/1994  GATT/AIR/3601
6th (WTO) 05/07/1995
7th (WTO) 10/07/1996
8th (WTO) 29/07/1996
9th (WTO) 17/09/1996
Informal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
Plurilateral Meetings Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
II. Multilateral Negotiations
Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR)  22/06/1988  L/6364 (+ addendum & corrigendum)
- updated 01/07/1993  L/7244
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 04/05/1990  L/6673
26/06/1991  L/6867
26/06/1991  L/6867
12/07/1991  L/6880 (+ addendum 1; addendum 2; addendum 3; addendum 4; addendum 5;)
Factual Summary of Points Raised 
Additional Questions & Replies 28/10/1993  L/7309 (+ addendum & revision)
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party 
Draft Report of the Working Party  31/05/1994  SPEC(94)20  (+  revision)
Agriculture-specific (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), Questions and Replies   12/06/1995  SPEC(95)4/Add.1
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TRIPS Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Import Licensing Procedures Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Customs Valuation Checklist (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
State-Trading Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Draft Subsidies Notification (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Comprehensive Legislative Action Plan (LAP)  08/06/1989  L/6512
Rule-specific Action Plans 
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
05/11/1987  L/6250
  •  Decree No. 2242 on Free Trade Zones
  •  Decree No. 33 on Restructuring the Banking System, Regulations on Banks
  •  Regulations on the Economic Activity of Self-Managing Economic Organizations with Foreign Investment Participation in the People's Republic of Bulgaria
  •  Regulations on the Procedures of Supervision and Control on Self-Managing Economic Organizations' Economic Activity Carried out with Foreign Investment Participation in the People's Republic of Bulgaria
14/06/1989  SPEC(89)30 
  •  Decree No. 56 on economic activity and of the regulation for the application of Decree No.56
22/07/1991  L/6888
  •  Constitution (not yet officially published) (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Land (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Aaccountancy (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Statistics (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Turnover Tax and Excise Tax (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Protection of Competition (in Bulgarian)
  •  Commercial Law (Trade Act) (in English)
  •  Law on Foreign Investment (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on the Central Bank (in Bulgarian)
  •  Draft Law on Privatization (in Bulgarian)
09/07/1993  L/6880/Add.4
  •  Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria (in English)
  •  Law on the Bulgarian National Bank (in English)
  •  Law on Banks and Credit Acitivity (in English)
  •  Bulgarian National Bank - Ordinance of Payments (in English)
  •  Law on the Economic Activity of Foreign Persons and on the Protection of Foreign Investments (in English and Bulgarian)
  •  Law on the Protection of Competition (in English)
  •  Law on Transformation and Privatisation of State-Owned and Municipal Enterprises (in English and Bulgarian)
  •  Law on the Ownership and the Use of Agricultural Lands and Regulations on the Application of the Law on the Ownership and the Use of Agricultural Lands
  •  Law on Commerce (in English)
  •  Law on Veterinary Inspection (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Protection of Plants from Diseases Regulation for the Application of the Law (in Bulgarian)
  •  Decree No. 56 and the Regulation for its Application (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Turnover Tax and Excise Tax (in Bulgarian)
  •  Regulation No. 15 of the Council of Ministers for Alteration in the Foreign Exchange Regime, 8 February 1991 (in Bulgarian)
  •  Law on Customs (in Bulgarian)
  •  Regulation on Customs Control on Goods Crossing the Border of the Republic of Bulgaira (in Bulgarian)
  •  Regulation No. 85 on Import and Export of Goods effected by Passangers, 29 April 1993 (in Bulgarian)
09/08/1993  L/6880/Add.5
  •  Patent law, dated 18 March 1993 (in English)
  •  Copyright law, dated 16 June 1993 (in Bulgarian)
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
25/11/1977  MTN/NTM/R/17 (+  addendum)
  •  Submission of Request Lists - Bulgaria
17/07/1979  MTN/TAR/11
  •  Communication from the European Communities on the Schedule of Tariff concessions of Bulgaria
23/10/1986  M.TNC/W/3
  •  Communication from Bulgaria addressed to the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee
05/11/1987  L/6250
  •  Economic Development 1987
  •  Techno-Scientific and Socio-Economic Development 1986-1990
  •  Joint Ventures in Bulgaria
  •  Bulgaria in Figures 1987
  •  Bulgarian Presentations to the Conference "Bulgaria and the GATT", held in Washington on 14-15 September 1987
12/07/1991  L/6880/Add.1  Information on Bulgaria's Foreign Trade Regime
04/09/1992  L/6880/Add.2
  •  Bulgaria's Customs Tariff
16/10/1992  L/6880/Add.3  Information on new import tariff as of 1 July 1992 and information on changes after 12 July 1991 to Bulgaria's Foreign Trade Regime
20/01/1995  WT/L/10  Request by Bulgaria For Observer Status in WTO Bodies
24/05/1995  WT/ACC/BGR/1  Checklist of documents
29/05/1995  WT/ACC/BGR/2 (+  corrigendum)  Consistency of Bulgaria's MFTR with WTO Agreements, including TRIPS and Services
18/07/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/3  List of Bulgarian Firms Engaged in Trade with Participation in Ownership by the State
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)  30/06/1979  MTN/TAR/10
30/06/1979  Instrument_No_160
28/11/1979  L/4890
21/02/1995  SPEC(95)4 
additional information related to agriculture 21/02/1995  SPEC(95)4 
Services Offer(s)  26/10/1994  SPEC(94)46 
revised 21/02/1995  SPEC(95)4 
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule 
Draft Services Schedule 
Goods and Services Technical Verification Meetings 
IV. Summary of Final Meeting of the Working Party
V. Accession Package (“Terms of Accession”, de-restricted) 
Ministerial Conference/General Council Decision on the Accession 02/10/1996  WT/GC/M/14 & WT/ACC/BGR/6
Protocol of Accession  11/10/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/7
Report of the Working Party 20/09/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/5 ;  WT/ACC/BGR/5/Corr.1
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  20/09/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/5/Add.1
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  20/09/1996  WT/ACC/BGR/5/Add.2
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments click on “Report by Member”, select “Bulgaria” in drop down list then click on “View Report”
VII. Instrument of Acceptance 
Notification of Acceptance and Entry Into Force of the Protocol of Accession 01/11/1996  WT/LET/117
VIII. Date of Membership
  01/12/1996 130th Member WT/MIN(96)/ST/101
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
2nd economy that joined the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement.

The de-restriction of documents is a key component of the transparency obligations of the Multilateral Trading System.  Paragraphs 1 and 2(e) of the Ministerial Council Decision WT/L/452 of 14 May 2002 provide that “documents relating to working parties on accession shall be restricted and shall be automatically de-restricted upon the adoption of the report of the working party” by the Ministerial Conference/General Council.  The time of completion of the de-restriction process depends on the amount and complexities of the documents involved.  Prior to 2002, the de-restriction of accession-related documents was governed by a different set of rules (i.e. General Council Decision WT/L/160/Rev.1 of 26 July 1996), which only affect documents circulated prior to 2002.