Prohibited or restricted ecommerce productsThe volume of online trading B:C (business to customer) has increased by 30% for 2019 compared to 2018. According to the forecast data for 2020 the increase compared to 2019 it will be even more significant. In view of the avalanche-like increase in the number of e-shops, the variety of goods sold online and the entry of new retailers in e-commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re publishing this material with useful information on legal restrictions on online sales of certain types of goods.

Disclaimer: The information here aims to provide a general idea about restricted e-commerce goods according to the Bulgarian legislation. Seek legal advice before making any decisions about selling products online.

I. Prohibited ecommerce products

1. Medicinal products allowed on prescription - Art. 234, para. 4 Law on Medicinal Products in Human Medicine. The fine is from BGN 5,000 to 10,000.

2. Tobacco and related products, including electronic cigarettes, refillable containers, liquids containing nicotine, smoking articles other than tobacco articles and water pipe articles, not containing tobacco - Art. 31a Tobacco Act tobacco and related products. Sanctions for legal entities range from BGN 2,000 to 5,000 for the first violation. With regard to these products, there is a ban even on publishing electronic messages with announcements for their sale in online platforms for announcements and other such platforms through the services of the information society - Article 99, paragraph 6 of the Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act.

3. It is prohibited to sell second-hand personal underwear and swimwear, second-hand clothes for children up to one year of age and second-hand shoes for children up to and including number 34 (Ordinance № 27 of 16 August 2005 on the health requirements for second-hand clothes). use). The ban applies to all forms of sale - offline and online.

4. It is prohibited to sell specimens of the order Primates and wild cats, except for zoos and rescue centers (Animal Protection Act, Art. 21), as well as the sale of animals caught in the wild (Art. 38 of Biodiversity Act). These prohibitions apply to online and offline sales.

II. Special requirements for the online sale of certain goods

1. Foods and supplements
Distance trading of food, including food supplements is regulated in the new Food Act, in force from 01.07.2020. Remote trading of food may be done by: (a) a business operator operating in a registered or approved establishment, or (b) a service provider operating a means of distance communication after registration. The competent authority for registration is the director of the relevant regional directorate for food safety at the location of the site or the headquarters of the means of distance communication.
The application must be submitted at least 14 days before the starting date. Foods and food supplements (HDs) can be traded remotely, with the exception of foods for special medical purposes.

Foods and supplements traded at a distance must:
1). be produced and / or distributed in accordance with the requirements of the Food Act in registered or approved under Art. 26 or 31 of the Food Act sites, in sites registered or approved by a competent authority of another Member State, or to be introduced on the territory of the European Union in compliance with the requirements of Chapter Six of the Food Act;
2). be labeled according to the requirements of Art. 17 of the Food Act and the specific requirements to the respective food groups;
3). are transported in compliance with the provisions of Food Act. Food transport vehicles and HDs are described by number and registration numbers in the registration application.
The property sanction for violation of the requirements for trade in food and HD at a distance is from BGN 4,000 to 6,000.

2. Alcoholic beverages
The sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed through an e-shop. The requirement is that the goods have an excise label when such is mandatory or the excise duty due is paid.
According to Art. 99, para 6 of the Law on Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses (LEDTW), the publication of announcements and messages, including in electronic form, through which excise goods and tobacco waste are offered for sale is prohibited.
To which excise goods does the ban on publishing advertisements apply?
Excise goods within the meaning of Art. 2 of LEDTW are:
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages:
- Beer;
- Silent wines;
- Sparkling wines;
- Other fermented beverages;
- Intermediate products within the meaning of LEDTW;
- Ethyl alcohol (alcohol);

III. Registration regime for the sale of certain goods

The requirement for registration of the trader and / or certain goods is mandatory both for sale in retail outlets and for distance selling through e-shops, marketplace platforms, ad platforms, etc.
The sale of these goods is not prohibited in principle, but is carried out in compliance with the requirements and order specified by law.

The following are subject to registration:

Explosives and pyrotechnic materials (including fireworks, rockets, etc.
A trade permit is required under Art. 35 of the Law on Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives and Pyrotechnic Articles. The documents are issued by the Director of the GDNP or an official authorized by him, and are submitted to the General Directorate of the National Police (GDNP). Some of the documents that must be submitted are: Passport of the warehouse for storage of explosives, weapons, ammunition and pyrotechnic articles; a list of the types of products they will trade with; The issuance fee is BGN 2,000, the validity period is 5 years. In case of non-compliance with the requirements for malt sites, a fine of BGN 200 to BGN 1,000 and / or a property sanction of BGN 1,000 to 3,000 shall be imposed.

Psychotropic substances and narcotics, including drugs and any other prohibited substances and substances.
For medical, scientific and laboratory research, for educational purposes, as well as for maintaining the working condition of service dogs revealing narcotic substances, a permit for production, acquisition, import, export, storage, application and use of limited quantities of narcotic substances and their preparations is issued. The procedure is regulated in Art. 73, para. 1 of the Law on Control over Narcotic Substances and Precursors (LCNSP).

Animal raw materials and food products obtained by animals
According to the Law for the veterinary medical activity, the trade with raw materials and food from animals, bred in sites, which are not registered under art. 51. Animals are subject to official identification, and livestock farms - to registration with the BFSA.

Medical devices
Trade in medical devices may be carried out only by traders who have received a permit for wholesale trade in medical devices, manufacturers of medical devices established on the territory of Bulgaria, drugstores, pharmacies and veterinary pharmacies. Medical devices must bear the CE marking for compliance with the essential requirements of the EU.

If you need to research the legal framework or have questions when starting an online business, do not hesitate to contact us, here.

Petar Dimitrov

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Tags: E-commerce