Bulgarian caretaker Government announced that it has decided to ban export of petroleum products made from crude oil imported from Russia by sea as of 5 March 2023.
The statement from the Government said that the ban will apply to Bulgarian exports of oil products to buyers in another EU member state or a third country. However, it will not apply to petrochemicals and bunker fuel used in ships.
The largest Bulgarian refinery Neftochim in Burgas is operated by Russian Lukoil.
The Government also approved the implementation of a derogation from the EU-wide ban on import or transfer of maritime transported crude oil and petroleum products from Russia. The derogation was granted to Bulgaria by the EU in June under the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. It will enter into force on 5 December, the date on which the EU will start applying the ban, and will be valid until the end of 2024.
As of 5 February 2023, the EU will also ban imports of petroleum products from Russia, as part of the eighth package of sanctions agreed in October.
Last month, it was agreed that, as of 1 January 2023, Lukoil Neftochim Burgas and Lukoil Bulgaria will move their business, revenues and taxes to Bulgaria from the Netherlands and Switzerland. Namely, Lukoil has agreed to start paying its taxes in Bulgaria on condition that it is allowed to keep processing predominantly Russian oil and export its petroleum products.