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PublicationBulgaria - Reforming the regime of states fees(World Bank, 2009-06-01) World BankThe Government of Bulgaria requested the World Bank to analyze the legal, institutional and administrative framework for setting state fees and provide recommendations based on good international practice. How big is the problem compared to the many other issues the government wants to reform in order to improve the business climate in Bulgaria? So far there are no comprehensive studies of the level of administrative fees in the European Union (EU) area. Such studies would be of great value to assess the magnitude of the problem. There are, however, several arguments in support of reforming the regime of state fees in Bulgaria now. Firstly, business associations in Bulgaria agree also confirmed by a recent unpublished government report - that state fees at the central level became an uncontrolled area in which authorities apply their own judgment and interests without considering the impact on businesses often to the disadvantage of the private sector. Secondly, if the Government of Bulgaria (GoB) does not curb the current regime system, then the trend of increasing state fees will continue or might even gain speed. Again, this will have a negative impact on the cost of doing business. Thirdly, a number of identified state fees are so high that they seriously harm competition by functioning as a barrier to firm entry. Fourthly, the EU requires Member States to implement a specific regime for administrative fees in the services sector by the end of 2009 and Bulgaria does not comply with that yet. A recent World Bank report for Bulgaria Investment Climate Assessment (2008) called for overall reduction of the administrative cost for businesses because Bulgaria is not competitive in this area compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. The report recommended that a strategic policy document is prepared to embrace the administration practice and provide an instrument for classification of the tariffs for the central administration service fees targeting universal reduction of the administrative cost. It also proposed that a special methodology for the classification of the tariffs for the central administrative service fees is developed. The present report is intended to support reform of the regime of state fees.