Legal-Alert-Changes-to-the-Commerce-Act_Combating-Late-Payments-EN



The changes to the CA do not introduce a legal definition of the phrase “gross abuse of the creditor’s interest”. However, some interpretation guidelines from the Directive could be used in this respect.

When debtor is a public contractor, a longer payment period agreed between the parties as an exception may not exceed 60 calendar days in any circumstances.

2. When no payment period is agreed between the parties

If this is the case, payment should be made within 14 days following the date of receipt by the debtor of the invoice or an equivalent request for payment.

Similarly, this rule has some exceptions, too, when the 14-day term remains unchanged but starts from a later moment:

(i) when the date of receipt of the invoice or the equivalent request for payment cannot be defined – the 14-day payment period starts from the date of receipt of the goods or services;

(ii) when the invoice or the equivalent request for payment is received before the date of receipt of the goods or services – again, the 14-day payment period starts from the date of receipt of the goods or services;

(iii) when the contract or the law provides for a procedure of acceptance or verification of the goods or services and the invoice or the equivalent request for payment is received before that – the 14-day payment period starts from the date on which the acceptance or the verification took place. In this event, the CA lays down a maximum period for acceptance or verification that is 14 days from the date of receipt of the goods or services, except for the cases in which a longer period is demanded by the nature of the goods or services or for another important reason.

SCOPE OF APPLICATION OF THE MEASURES 

The Bulgarian legislature limits the scope of application of the measures in question for determining payment periods in general to payments made as remuneration for commercial transactions.

Debts arising from negotiable instruments; debts that are subject to insolvency proceedings and payments made as compensation for damages including payments from insurance companies are excluded from the scope of the new provisions.

The new measures also regulate transactions in which craftsmen or persons performing services by their own labour or liberal professions are constituted as a party.