How many types of eco-fees are there?

Eco-fees are divided into different types according to two main criteria:

According to the subject to which they come

According to this criterion, the fees are divided into:

Product fees – these are the eco-fees paid to EMEPA

The product fee is payable pursuant to the Ordinance for Determining the Order of Payment and the Amount of the Product Fee. It shall be deemed to be included in the selling price of the product concerned (pursuant to Article 3(4) of the Ordinance).

A single payment is made for the quantities of products placed on the market during the previous month. Certain details are entered in the payment document for its payment into the account of the EMEPA, e.g.:

  • for what product, quantity and period;
  • battery and accumulator code, etc.

Persons marketing products in Bulgaria may separately display to end users the amount of the product fee included in the selling price.

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Contractual remunerations – eco-fees paid as remunerations to recovery organisations (ROs)

They are due on the basis of a contract with the relevant RO.

Each regulation for a particular product type and WSW defines the specific conditions for payment of the agreed remuneration.

What they all have in common is that the remuneration should cover the costs to organisations of meeting the collection, transport, reuse, recycling and final disposal targets for the waste they generate from the products they place on the market, and that it should be set in a transparent and cost-effective way.

Only one of two types of eco-fees is ever due: a product fee or a remuneration to RO.

There is an exception to this rule where both eco-fees are due at the same time. These are the cases defined in Art. 1, items 4 and 5 of the MSW Act, which are of a punitive nature, namely:

  • Where the members of the RO have not paid the agreed remuneration and/or have not provided it with information on the quantities of products placed on the market;
  • Where members of the RO have underreported the quantities of products actually placed on the market for the relevant reporting period.

In these cases, in addition to the agreed remuneration to the RO, the persons concerned shall also owe the full amount of the product fee for the relevant product type.

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According to the entity that pays the eco-fees

  • Manufacturer of products
  • Importer of products
  • A person who imports products into the country from the territory of another EU Member State.

The persons liable for the eco-fees are those who place the relevant products on the market, and for each type of product the Ordinance defines the specific persons liable.

The circle of obliged persons who have to pay a product fee is defined by § 1, item 3 and § 1, item 8 of the Regulation on product fees.

Pursuant to § 1, item 3 of the Regulation on product fees:

Persons placing on the market in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria products referred to in Art. 1 shall be the manufacturers, importers and persons who introduce into the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria from the territory of another EU Member State or import from a non-EU country the relevant products and provide them to another person for a fee or free of charge, and/or use them as part of a commercial, manufacturing or professional activity for the purpose of distribution or use of the product on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

According to § 1, point 8 of the Regulation:

“Placing on the market” shall mean the placing on the market of products, the use of which results in the generation of waste of mass distribution within the meaning of the relevant regulation under Article 13, par. 1 of the WMA.

Each of these regulations has an individual definition of placing on the market that covers a range of persons and complementary conditions to be taken into account.