Yesterday, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted amendments to the Bulgarian Energy Law which abolish the fee levied on exports of electricity. The amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2019.
The export fee distorts trade between Bulgaria and the Contracting Parties in the Balkans and posed a major obstacle to the future market coupling with North Macedonia. From the perspective of European law, such a fee violates the rules guaranteeing the free movement of electricity across borders. Export fees are prohibited in the EU and the Energy Community, including between EU Member States and Contracting Parties.
The Bulgarian export fee was subject to a complaint received by the Secretariat from an electricity trader, upon which the Secretariat requested action from the European Commission, the institution in charge of ensuring that European law is followed vis-à-vis Member States. Yesterday’s decision to phase-out the electricity export fee in Bulgaria shows that proactive action taken by market players, a swift follow-up by the competent enforcement authorities and the preparedness of national institutions to adapt to the rule of law benefits the entire region and the Energy Community at large.