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Bulgaria Agreement On Trade Relations
Agreement on Trade Relations Between the United States of America and the Republic of Bulgaria
By the President of the United States of America
1. Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, as President of the United States of America, I, acting through duly empowered representatives, entered into negotiations with representatives of the Republic of Bulgaria to conclude an agreement on trade relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Bulgaria.
2. These negotiations were conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618, January 3, 1975; 88 Stat. 1978), as amended (the "Trade Act").
3. As a result of these negotiations, an "Agreement on Trade Relations Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria," including exchanges of letters which form an integral part of the Agreement, the foregoing in English and Bulgarian, was signed on April 2, 1991, by duly empowered representatives of the two Governments and is set forth as an annex to this proclamation.
4. This Agreement conforms to the requirements relating to bilateral commercial agreements set forth in section 405(b) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2435(b)).
5. Article XVII of the Agreement provides that the Agreement shall enter into force on the date of exchange of written notices of acceptance by the two Governments.
6. Section 405(c) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2435(c)) provides that a bilateral commercial agreement providing nondiscriminatory treatment to the products of a country heretofore denied such treatment, and a proclamation implementing such agreement, shall take effect only if approved by the Congress under the provisions of that Act.
7. Section 604 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2483) authorizes the President to embody in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States the substance of the provisions of that Act of other acts affecting import treatment, and actions taken thereunder.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including but not limited to sections 404, 405, and 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, do proclaim that:
(1) This proclamation shall become effective, said Agreement shall enter into force, and nondiscriminatory treatment shall be extended to the products of the Republic of Bulgaria, in accordance with the terms of said Agreement on the date of exchange of written notices of acceptance in accordance with Article XVII of said Agreement. The United States Trade Representative shall publish notice of the effective date in the Federal Register.
(2) Effective with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, into the customs territory of the United States on or after the date provided in paragraph (1) of this proclamation, general note 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, enumerating those countries whose products are subject to duty at the rates set forth in rate of duty column 2 of the tariff schedule, is modified by striking out "Bulgaria".
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of June. In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.
AGREEMENT ON TRADE RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria (hereinafter referred to collectively as "Parties" and individually as "Party"),
Desiring to adopt mutually advantageous and equitable rules governing their trade and to ensure a predictable commercial environment,
Affirming that the evolution of market-based economic institutions and the strengthening of the private sector will aid the development of mutually beneficial trade relations,
Recognizing that the development of bilateral trade will contribute to better mutual understanding and cooperation, and can contribute to the general well-being of the peoples of each party and promote respect for internationally recognized workers' rights,
Taking into account Bulgaria's membership in the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the prospects for economic reform and restructuring of the economy, and taking into account Bulgaria's request for Contracting Party status in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (hereinafter referred to as "GATT"), and Bulgaria's intention to become a Party to the European Patent Convention of October 1973,
Desiring to create a mutually beneficial framework which will foster the development and expansion of commercial ties between their respective nationals and companies,
Having agreed that economic ties are an important and necessary element in the strengthening of their bilateral relations,
Have agreed as follows:
MOST FAVORED NATION AND NONDISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT
1. Each Party shall accord unconditionally to products originating in or exported to the territory of the other Party treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like products originating in or exported to the territory of any third country in all matters relating to:
(a) Customs duties and charges of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation, including the method of levying such duties and charges;
(b) methods of payment for imports and exports, and the international transfer of such payments;
(c) rules and formalities in connection with importation and exportation,
including those relating to customs clearance, transit, warehouses and transshipment
(d) taxes and other internal charges of any kind applied directly or indirectly to imported products; and
(e) laws, regulations and requirements affecting the sale offering for sale, purchase, transportation, distribution, storage and use of products in the domestic market.
2. Each Party shall accord to products originating in or exported to the territory of the other Party nondiscriminatory treatment with respect to the application of quantitative restrictions and the granting of licenses.
3. Each Party shall accord to imports of products and services originating in the territory of the other Party most-favored-nation treatment with respect to the availability of and access to the currency needed to pay for such imports.
4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to:
(a) advantages accorded by either Party by virtue of such Party's full membership in a customs union or free trade area;
(b) advantages accorded to adjacent countries for the facilitation of frontier traffic; and
(c) actions by either Party which are required or specifically permitted by the GATT (or by any joint action or decision of the Contracting Parties to the GATT) during such time as such Party is a Contracting Party to the GATT, including advantages accorded to developing countries; equivalent advantages accorded to developing countries under other multilateral agreements; and special advantages accorded by virtue of the GATT.
5. The provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article shall not apply to trade in textiles and textile products.
MARKET ACCESS FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
1. Each Party shall administer all tariff and nontariff measures affecting trade in a manner which affords, with respect to both third country and domestic competitors, meaningful competitive opportunities for products and services of the other Party.
2. Accordingly, neither Party shall impose, directly or indirectly, on the products of the other Party imported into its territory internal taxes or charges of any kind in excess of those applied, directly or indirectly, to like domestic products.
3. Each Party shall accord to products originating in the territory of the other Party treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like domestic products in respect of all laws, regulations and requirements affecting their internal sale, offering for sale, purchase, transportation, distribution, storage or use.
4. The charges and measures described in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article should not be applied to imported or domestic products so as to afford protection to domestic production.
5. The Parties shall ensure that technical regulations and standards are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to creating obstacles to international trade. Furthermore, each Party shall accord products imported from the territory of the other Party treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like domestic products and to like products originating in any third country in relation to such technical regulations or standards, including conformity testing and certification.
6. The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria shall accede to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and shall take all necessary measures to implement such Convention with respect to the Republic of Bulgaria. The Government of the United States of America shall endeavor to provide technical assistance, as appropriate, for the implementation of such measures.
7. The Parties agree to maintain a satisfactory balance of market access opportunities, including through concessions in trade in products and services and through the satisfactory reciprocation of reductions in tariffs and nontariff barriers to trade resulting from multilateral negotiations.
GENERAL OBLIGATIONS WITH RESPECT TO TRADE
1. Trade in products and services shall be effected by contracts between nationals and companies of the United States and nationals and companies of the Republic of Bulgaria concluded on the basis of nondiscrimination and in the exercise of their independent commercial judgment and on the basis of customary commercial considerations such as price, quality, availability, delivery and terms of payment.
2. Neither Party shall require or encourage nationals or companies of the United States or nationals or companies of the Republic of Bulgaria to engage in barter or countertrade transactions. Nevertheless, where nationals or companies decide to resort to barter or countertrade operations, the Parties will encourage them to furnish to each other all necessary information to facilitate the transaction.
EXPANSION AND PROMOTION OF TRADE
1. The Parties affirm their desire to expand trade in products and services consistent with the terms of this Agreement. They shall take appropriate measures to encourage and facilitate the exchange of goods and services and to secure favorable conditions for long-term development and diversification of trade between their respective nationals and companies.
2. The Parties shall take appropriate measures to encourage the expansion of commercial contacts with a view to increasing trade. In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria expects that, during the term of this Agreement, nationals and companies of the Republic of Bulgaria shall increase their purchases of products and services from the United States, while the Government of the United States expects that the effect of this Agreement shall be to encourage increased purchases by nationals and companies of the United States of products and services from the Republic of Bulgaria. Toward this end the Parties shall publicize this Agreement and ensure that it is made available to all interested parties.
3. Each Party shall encourage and facilitate the holding of trade promotional events such as fairs, exhibitions, missions and seminars in its territory and in the territory of the other Party. Similarly, each Party shall encourage and facilitate the participation of its respective nationals and companies in such events. Subject to the laws in force within their respective territories, the Parties agree to allow the import and re-export on a duty free basis of all articles for use in such events, provided that such articles are not sold or otherwise transferred.
GOVERNMENT COMMERCIAL OFFICES
1. Subject to its laws and regulations governing foreign missions, each Party shall allow government commercial offices to hire directly host-country nationals and, subject to immigration laws and procedures, third-country nationals.
2. Each Party shall ensure unhindered access of host-country nationals to government commercial offices of the other Party.
3. Each Party shall encourage the participation of its nationals and companies in the activities of the other Party's government commercial offices especially with respect to events held on the premises of such commercial offices.
4. Each Party shall encourage and facilitate access by government commercial office personnel of the other Party to host-country officials at both the national and subnational level, and representatives of nationals and companies of the host Party.
1. Each Party shall afford commercial representations of the other Party fair and equitable treatment with respect to the conduct of their operations.
2. Subject to its laws and procedures governing immigration and foreign missions, each Party shall permit the establishment within its territory of commercial representations of nationals and companies of the other Party and shall accord such representations treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to commercial representations of nationals and companies of third countries.
3. Subject to its laws and procedures governing immigration and foreign missions, each Party shall permit such commercial representations established in its territory to hire directly employees who are nationals of either Party or of third countries and to compensate such employees on terms and in a currency that is mutually agreed between the parties, consistent with such Party's minimum wage laws.
4. Each Party shall permit commercial representations of the other Party to import and use in accordance with normal commercial practices, office and other equipment, such as typewriters, photocopiers, computers and telefax machines in connection with the conduct of their activities in the territory of such Party.
5. Subject to laws and procedures regarding foreign missions, each Party shall permit on a nondiscriminatory basis and at market prices, commercial representations of the other Party access to and use of office space and living accommodations.
6. Subject to its laws and procedures governing immigration and foreign missions, each Party shall permit nationals and companies of the other Party to engage agents, consultants and distributors of either Party and of third countries on prices and terms mutually agreed between the parties.
7. Subject to its laws and procedures governing immigration and foreign missions, each Party shall permit nationals and companies of the other Party to serve as agents, consultants and distributors of nationals and companies of either Party and of third countries on prices and terms mutually agreed between the parties.
8. Each Party shall permit nationals and companies of the other Party to advertise their products and services (a) through direct agreement with the advertising media, including television, radio, print and billboard, and (b) by direct mail, including the use of enclosed envelopes and cards preaddressed to that national or company.
9. Each Party shall encourage direct contact, and permit direct sales, between nationals and companies of the other Party and end-users and other customers of their goods and services, and with agencies and organizations whose decisions will affect potential sales.
10. Each Party shall permit nationals and companies of the other Party to conduct market studies, either directly or by contract, within its territory. To facilitate the conduct of market research, each Party shall, upon request, make available non-confidential, non-proprietary information within its possession to nationals and companies of the other Party engaged in such efforts.
11. Each Party shall provide nondiscriminatory access to governmentally-provided products and services, including public utilities, to nationals and companies of the other Party at fair and equitable prices (and in no event at prices greater than those charged to any nationals or companies of third countries where such prices are set or controlled by the government) in connection with the operation of their commercial representations.
12. Each Party shall permit commercial representations to stock an adequate supply of samples and replacement parts for aftersales service on a noncommercial basis .
13. Neither Party shall impose measures which unreasonably impair contractual or property rights or other interests acquired within its territory by nationals and companies of the other Party.
1. Each Party shall make available publicly on a timely basis all laws, regulations, judicial decisions and administrative rulings of general application related to commercial activity, including trade, investment, taxation, banking, insurance and other financial services, transport and labor. Each Party shall make such information available in reading rooms in its own capital and shall endeavor to make such information available in the capital of the other Party.
2. Each Party shall provide nationals and companies of the other Party with access to available non-confidential, non--proprietary data on the national economy and individual sectors, including information on foreign trade.
3. Each Party shall allow nationals and companies of the other Party the opportunity, to the extent practicable, to comment on the formulation of rules and regulations which affect the conduct of business activities.
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO TRADE
IN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
1. Unless otherwise agreed between the parties to individual transactions, all commercial transactions between nationals and companies of the Parties shall be made in United States dollars or any other currency that may be designated from time to time by the International Monetary Fund as being a freely usable currency.
2. Neither Party shall restrict the export from its territory of convertible currencies or deposits, or instruments representative thereof, obtained in connection with trade in products and services by nationals and companies of the other Party.
3. Expenditures in the territory of a Party by nationals and companies of the other Party may be made in local currency received in an authorized manner.
4. Without derogation from paragraphs 2 or 3 of this Article, in connection with trade in products and services, each Party shall grant to nationals and companies of the other Party the better of most-favored-nation or national treatment with respect to:
(a) opening and maintaining accounts, in both local and foreign currency, and having access to funds deposited in financial institutions located in the territory of the Party;
(b) payments, remittances and transfers of convertible currencies, or financial instruments representative thereof, between the territories of the two Parties, as well as between the territory of that Party and that of any third country;
(c) rates of exchange and related matters; and
(d) the receipt of local currency and its use for local expenses.
PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
1. Each Party shall provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement for patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and layout designs for integrated circuits as set forth in the text of a side letter attached hereto.
AREAS FOR FURTHER ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION
1. For the purpose of further developing bilateral trade and providing for a steady increase in the exchange of products and services, both Parties shall strive to achieve mutually acceptable agreements on taxation and investment issues, including the repatriation of profits and transfer of capital.
2. The Parties shall take appropriate steps to foster economic and technical cooperation on as broad a base as possible in all fields deemed to be in their mutual interest, including with respect to statistics and standards.
3. The Parties, taking into account the growing economic significance of service industries, agree to consult on matters affecting the conduct of service business between the two countries and particular matters of mutual interest relating to individual service sectors with the objective, among others, of attaining maximum possible market access and liberalization.
IMPORT RELIEF SAFEGUARDS
1. The Parties agree to consult promptly at the request of either Party whenever either actual or prospective imports into the territory of one of the Parties of products originating in the territory of the other Party cause or threaten to cause or significantly contribute to market disruption. Market disruption exists within a domestic industry whenever imports of an article, like or directly competitive with an article produced by such domestic industry, are increasing rapidly, either absolutely or relatively, so as to be a significant cause of material injury or threat thereof, to such domestic industry.
2. Determination of market disruption or threat thereof by the importing Party shall be based upon a good faith application of its laws and on an affirmative finding of relevant facts and on their examination. The importing Party, in determining whether market disruption exists, may consider, among other factors: the volume of imports of the merchandise which is the subject of the inquiry; the effect of imports of the merchandise on prices in the territory of the importing Party for like or directly competitive articles; the impact of imports of such merchandise on domestic producers of like or directly competitive articles; and evidence of disruptive pricing practices or other efforts to unfairly manage trade patterns.
3. The consultations provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall have the objectives of (a) presenting and examining the factors relating to such imports that may be causing or threatening to cause or significantly contributing to market disruption, and (b) finding means of preventing or remedying such market disruption. Such consultations shall be concluded within sixty days from the date of the request for such consultation, unless the Parties otherwise agree.
4. Unless a different solution is mutually agreed upon during the consultations, and not withstanding paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article I, the importing Party may (a) impose quantitative import limitations, tariff measures or any other restrictions or measures to such an extent and for such time as it deems necessary to prevent or remedy threatened or actual market disruption, and (b) take appropriate measures to ensure that imports from the territory of the other Party comply with such quantitative limitations or other restrictions. In this event, the other Party shall be free to deviate from its obligations under this Agreement with respect to substantially equivalent trade.
5. Where in the judgment of the importing Party, emergency action, which may include the existence of critical circumstances, is necessary to prevent or remedy such market disruption, the importing Party may take such action at any time and without prior consultations provided that such consultations shall be requested immediately thereafter.
6. In the selection of measures under this Article, the Parties shall endeavor to give priority to those which cause the least disturbance to the achievement of the goals of this Agreement.
7. Each Party shall ensure that its domestic procedures for determining market disruption are transparent and afford affected parties an opportunity to submit their views.
8. The Parties acknowledge that the elaboration of the market disruption safeguard provisions in this Article is without prejudice to the right of either Party to apply its laws and regulations applicable to trade in textiles and textile products and its laws and regulations applicable to unfair trade, including antidumping and countervailing duty laws.
1. Nationals and companies of either Party shall be accorded national treatment with respect to access to all courts and administrative bodies in the territory of the other Party, as plaintiffs, defendants or otherwise. They shall not claim or enjoy immunity from suit or execution of judgment, proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards, or other liability in the territory of the other Party with respect to commercial transactions; they also shall not claim or enjoy immunity from taxation with respect to commercial transactions, except as may be provided in other bilateral agreements.
2. The Parties encourage the adoption of arbitration for the settlement of disputes arising out of commercial transactions concluded between nationals or companies of the United States and nationals or companies of the Republic of Bulgaria. Such arbitration may be provided for by agreements in contracts between such nationals or companies, or in separate written agreements between them.
3. The parties may provide for arbitration under any internationally recognized arbitration rules, including the UNCITRAL Rules of 15 December 1976 and any modifications thereto, in which case the parties should designate an Appointing Authority under said rules in a country other than the United States or the Republic of Bulgaria.
4. Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, the parties should specify as the place of arbitration a country other than the United States or the Republic of Bulgaria, that is a party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, done at New York, June 10, 1958.
5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to prevent, and the Parties shall not prohibit, the parties from agreeing upon any other form of arbitration or on the law to be applied in such arbitration, or other form of dispute settlement which they mutually prefer and agree best suits their particular needs.
6. Each Party shall ensure that an effective means exists within its territory for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
The provisions of this Agreement shall not limit the right of either Party to take any action for the protection of its security interests.
1. The Parties agree to set up a Joint Commercial Commission which will, subject to the terms of reference of its establishment, foster economic cooperation and the expansion of trade under this Agreement and review periodically the operation of this Agreement and make recommendations for achieving its objectives.
2. The Parties agree to consult promptly through appropriate channels at the request of either Party to discuss any matter concerning the interpretations or implementation of this Agreement or other relevant aspects of the relations between the Parties.
As used in this Agreement, the terms set forth below shall have the following meaning:
(a) "company", means any kind of corporation, company, association, sole proprietorship, state or other enterprise, cooperative or other organization legally constituted under the laws and regulations of a Party or a political subdivision thereof, whether or not organized for pecuniary gain or privately or governmentally owned;
(b) "commercial representation",means a representation of a company of a Party; and
(c) "national," means a natural person who is a national of a Party under its applicable law.
1. Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on international trade, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prohibit the adoption or enforcement by a Party of:
(a) measures necessary to secure compliance with laws or regulations which are not contrary to the purposes of this Agreement;
(b) measures for the protection of intellectual property rights and the prevention of deceptive practices as set out in Article IX (and the related side letter) of this Agreement, provided that such measures shall be related to the extent of any injury suffered or the prevention of injury; or
(c) any other measure referred to in Article XX of the GATT.
2. Nothing in this Agreement limits the application of any agreement in force or which enters into force between the Parties on trade in textiles and textile products.
3. Both Parties reserve the right to deny any company the advantages of this Agreement if nationals of any third country control such a company and, in the case of a company of the other Party, that company has no substantial business activities in the territory of the other Party or is controlled by nationals of a third country with which the denying country does not maintain normal economic relations.
ENTRY INTO FORCE, TERM, SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION
1. This Agreement (including its side letters which are an integral part of the Agreement) shall enter into force on the date of exchange of written notices of acceptance by the two Governments and it shall remain in force as provided in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article.
2. (a) The initial term of this Agreement shall be three years, subject to subparagraph (b) and (c) of this paragraph.
(b) If either Party encounters or foresees a problem concerning its domestic legal authority to carry out any of its obligations under this Agreement, such Party shall request immediate consultations with the other Party. Once consultations have been requested, the other Party shall enter into such consultations as soon as possible concerning the circumstances that have arisen with a view to finding a solution to avoid action under subparagraph (c) .
(c) If either Party does not have domestic legal authority to carry out its obligations under this Agreement, either Party may suspend the application of this Agreement or, with the agreement of the other Party, any part of this Agreement. In that event, the Parties will, to the fullest extent practicable and consistent with domestic law, seek to minimize disruption to existing trade relations between the two countries.
3. This Agreement shall be extended for successive terms of three years each unless either Party has given written notice to the other Party of its intent to terminate this Agreement at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the then current term.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.
DONE at Washington D.C. on this twenty-second day of April 1991, in duplicate, in the English and Bulgarian languages, both texts being equally authentic.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED-STATES OF AMERICA
Carla A. Hills
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA:
Ognian Raytchev Pishev
Washington, April 22, 1991
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
I have the honor to confirm receipt of your letter which reads as follows:
Dear Madam Ambassador:
In connection with the signing on this date of the Agreement on Trade Relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Bulgaria (the "Agreement"), I have the honor to confirm the understanding reached by our Governments regarding the protection of intellectual property as set forth in Article IX of the Agreement.
1. Each Party reaffirms its commitments to those international agreements relating to intellectual property to which both Parties are signatories. Specifically, each Party reaffirms the commitments made with respect to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property as revised at Stockholm in 1967, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works as revised at Paris in 1971, and the Universal Copyright Convention of September 6, 1952 as revised at Paris on July 24, 1971. The Parties agree to adhere to the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms (1971).
2. To provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, each Party shall, inter alia observe the following commitments:
(a)Copyright and related rights
(i) Each Party shall protect the works listed in Article 2 of the Berne Convention (Paris 1971) and any other works now known or later developed, that embody original expressions within the meaning of the Berne Convention, not limited to the following:
(1) all types of computer programs (including application programs and operating systems) expressed in any language, whether in source or object code which shall be protected as literary works and works created by or with the use of computers; and
(2) collections or compilations of protected or unprotected material or data whether in print, machine readable or any other medium, including data bases, which shall be protected if they constitute intellectual creation by reason of the selection, coordination, or arrangement of their contents.
(ii) Rights in works protected pursuant to paragraph 2 (a) (i) of this letter shall include, inter alia , the following:
(1) the right to import or authorize the importation into the territory of the Party of lawfully made copies of the work as well as the right to prevent the importation into the territory of the Party of copies of the work made without the authorization of the right-holder;
(2) the right to make the first public distribution of the original or each authorized copy of a work by sale, rental, or otherwise; and
(3) the right to make a public communication of a work (e.g., to perform, display, project, exhibit, broadcast, transmit, or retransmit a work); the term "public" shall include:
(A) communicating a work in a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
(B) communicating or transmitting a work, a performance, or a display of a work, in any form, or by means of any device or process to a place specified in clause 2 (a) (ii) (3) (A) or to the public, regardless of whether the members of the public capable of receiving such communications can receive them in the same place or separate places and at the same time or at different times.
(iii) Each Party shall extend the protection afforded under paragraph 2 (a) (ii) of this letter to authors of the other Party, whether they are natural persons or, where the other Party's domestic law so provides, companies and to their successors in title.
(iv) Each Party shall permit protected rights under paragraph 2(a)(ii) of this letter to be freely and separately exploitable and transferable. Each Party shall also permit assignees and exclusive licensees to enjoy all rights of their assignors and licensors acquired through voluntary agreements, and be entitled to enjoy and exercise their acquired exclusive rights.
(v) In cases where a Party measures the term of protection of a work from other than the life of the author, the term of protection shall be no less than 50 years from authorized publication or, failing such authorized publication within 50 years from the making of the work, 50 years after the making.
(vi) Each Party shall confine any limitations or exceptions to the rights provided under paragraph 2(a)(ii) of this letter (including any limitations or exceptions that restrict such rights to "public" activity) to clearly and carefully defined special cases which do not impair an actual or potential market for or the value of a protected work.
(vii) Each Party shall ensure that any compulsory or non-voluntary license (or any restriction of exclusive rights to a right of remuneration) shall provide means to ensure payment and remittance of royalties at a level consistent with what would be negotiated on a voluntary basis.
(viii) Each Party shall, at a minimum, extend to producers of sound recordings the exclusive rights to do or to authorize the following:
(1) to reproduce the recording by any means or process, in whole or in part; and
(2) to exercise the importation and exclusive distribution and rental rights provided in paragraphs 2(a)(ii)(1) and (2) of this letter.
(ix) Paragraphs 2 (a)(iii), 2(a)(iv) and 2(a)(vi) of this letter shall apply mutatis mutandis to sound recordings.
(x) Each Party shall:
(1) protect sound recordings for a term of at least 50 years from publication; and
(2) grant the right to make the first public distribution of the original or each authorized sound recording by sale, rental, or otherwise except that the first sale of the original or such sound recording shall not exhaust the rental or importation right therein (the "rental right" shall mean the right to authorize or prohibit the disposal of the possession of the original or copies for direct or indirect commercial advantage).
(xi) Parties shall not subject the acquisition and
validity of intellectual property rights in sound recordings to any formalities, and protection shall arise automatically upon creation of the sound recording.
(i) Protectable Subject Matter
(1) Trademarks shall consist of at least any sign, words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, colors, or the shape of goods or of their packaging, provided that the mark is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one national, company or organization from those of other nationals, companies or organizations.
(2) The term "trademark" shall include service marks, collective and certification marks.
(ii) Acquisition of Rights
(1) A trademark right may be acquired by registration or by use. Each Party shall provide a system for the registration of trademarks. Use of a trademark may be required as a prerequisite for registration.
(2) Each Party shall publish each trademark either before it is registered or promptly after it is registered and shall afford other parties a reasonable opportunity to petition to cancel the registration. In addition, each Party may afford an opportunity for the other Party to oppose the registration of a trademark.
(3) The nature of the goods or services to which a trademark is to be applied shall in no case form an obstacle to registration of the trademark.
(iii) Rights Conferred
(1) The owner of a registered trademark shall have exclusive rights therein. He shall be entitled to prevent all third parties not having his consent from using in commerce identical or similar signs for goods or services which are identical or similar to those in respect of which the trademark is protected, where such use would result in a likelihood of confusion.
(2) Each Party shall refuse to register or shall cancel the registration and prohibit use of a trademark likely to cause confusion with a trademark of another which is considered to be well-known. A Party may not require that the reputation of the trademark extend beyond the sector of the public which normally deals with the relevant goods or services.
(3) The owner of a trademark shall be entitled to take action against any unauthorized use which constitutes an act of unfair competition or passing off.
(iv) Term of Protection
The registration of a trademark shall be indefinitely renewable for terms of no less than 10 years when conditions for renewal have been met. Initial registration of a trademark shall be for a term of at least 10 years.
(v) Requirement of use
(1) If use of a registered mark is required to maintain trademark rights, the registration may be cancelled only after an uninterrupted period of at least two years of non-use, unless legitimate reasons for non-use exist. Use of the trademark with the consent of the owner shall be recognized as use of the trademark for the purpose of maintaining the registration.
(2) Legitimate reasons for non-use shall include non-use due to circumstances arising independently of the will of the trademark holder (such as import restrictions on or other government requirements for products protected by the trademark) which constitute an obstacle to the use of the mark.
(vi) Other Requirements
The use of a trademark in commerce shall not be encumbered by special requirements, such as use which reduces the function of a trademark as an indication of source or use with another trademark.
(vii) Compulsory Licensing
Compulsory licensing of trademarks shall not be permitted.
Trademark registrations may be transferred.
(i) Patentable Subject Matter
(1) Patents shall be available for all inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology.
(2) Parties may exclude from patentability:
(A) any invention or discovery which is useful solely in the utilization of special nuclear material or atomic energy in an atomic weapon; and
(B) plant and animal varieties.
(3) If a Party does not grant patents for plant and/or animal varieties the Party shall provide effective protection through a sui generis system.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs 2 (c) (i) (2) and 2 (c) (i) (3),
(A) patents shall be available for microbiological processes and the products thereof, and
(B) Parties may exclude plant and animal varieties from patent protection only until protection for such inventions becomes an obligation under an international agreement to which both Parties adhere.
(ii) Rights Conferred
(1) A patent shall confer the right to prevent others not having the patent owner's consent from making, using, or selling the subject matter of the patent. In the case of a patented process, the patent confers the right to prevent others not having consent from using that process and from using, selling, or importing at least the product obtained directly by that process.
(2) Where the subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product, each Party shall provide that the burden of establishing that an alleged infringing product was not made by the process shall be on the alleged infringer, at least in one of the following situations:
(A) the product is new; or
(B) a substantial likelihood exists that the product was made by the process and the patent owner has been unable through reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used.
In gathering and evaluation of evidence to the contrary, the legitimate interests of the defendant in protecting his manufacturing and business secrets shall be taken into account.
(3) A patent may only be revoked on grounds that would have justified a refusal to grant the patent.
Each Party may provide limited exceptions to the exclusive rights conferred by a patent, such as for acts done for experimental purposes, provided that the exceptions do not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the right-holder.
(iv) Term of Protection
Each Party shall provide a term of protection of at least 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application or 17 years from the date of grant of the patent. Each Party is encouraged to extend the term of patent protection, in appropriate cases, to compensate for delays caused by regulatory approval processes.
(v) Transitional Protection
A Party shall provide transitional protection for products embodying subject matter deemed to be unpatentable under its patent law prior to its implementation of the provisions of this letter, where the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) the subject matter to which the product relates will become patentable after implementation of the provisions of this letter;
(2) a patent has been issued for the product by the other Party, or an application is pending for the product with the other Party, prior to the entry into force of this letter; and,
(3) The product has not been marketed in the territory of the Party providing such transitional protection.
The owner of a patent, or of a pending application, for a product satisfying the conditions set forth above shall have the right to submit a copy of the patent or provide notification of the existence of a pending application with the other Party, to the Party providing transitional protection. These submissions and notifications shall take place any time after the signing of this Agreement and the exchange of letters and before the implementation of the new Bulgarian patent law. This period, however, shall not be less than nine months. In the case of a pending -application, the applicant shall notify the competent Bulgarian authorities of the issuance of a patent based on his application within six months of the date of grant by the other Party. The Party providing transitional protection shall limit the right to make, use, or sell the product in its territory to such owner for a term to expire with that of the patent submitted.
(vi) Compulsory Licenses
(1) Each Party may limit the patent owner's exclusive rights through compulsory licenses but only:
(A) to remedy an adjudicated violation of competition laws;
(B) to address, only during its existence, a declared national emergency;
(C) to address a failure to meet the reasonable demands of the domestic market, however importation shall constitute a means of meeting the demands of the domestic market; and
(D) to enable compliance with national air pollutant standards, where compulsory licenses are essential to such compliance.
(2) Where the law of a Party allows for the grant of compulsory licenses, such licenses shall be granted in a manner which minimizes distortions of trade, and the following provisions shall be respected:
(A) Compulsory licenses shall be non--exclusive and non-assignable except with that part of the enterprise which exploits such license.
(B) The payment of remuneration to the patent owner adequate to compensate the patent owner fully for the license shall be required, except for compulsory licenses to remedy adjudicated violations of competition laws.
(C) Each case involving the possible grant of a compulsory license shall be considered on its individual merits.
(D) Any compulsory license shall be revoked when the circumstances which led to its granting cease to exist, taking into account the legitimate interests of the patent owner and of the licensee. The continued existence of these circumstances shall be reviewed upon request of the right-holder.
(E) Judicial review shall be available for:
1. decisions to grant compulsory licenses, except in the instance of a declared national emergency,
2. decisions to continue compulsory licenses, and
3. the compensation provided for compulsory licenses.
(d) Layout-Designs of Semiconductor Chips
(i) Subject Matter for Protection
(1) Each Party shall provide protection for original layout-designs incorporated in a semiconductor chip, however the layout-design might be fixed or encoded.
(2) Each Party may condition protection on fixation or registration of the layout-designs. If registration is required, applicants shall be given at least two years from first commercial exploitation of the layout-design in which to apply. A Party which requires deposits of identifying material or other material related to the layout-design shall not require applicants to disclose confidential or proprietary information unless it is essential to allow identification of the layout-design.
(ii) Rights Acquired
(1) Each Party shall provide to right-holders of integrated circuit lay-out designs of the other Party the exclusive right to do or to authorize the following:
(A) to reproduce the layout-design;
(B) to incorporate the layout-design in a semiconductor chip; and
(C) to import or distribute a semiconductor chip incorporating the layout-design and products including such chips.
(2) The conditions set out in paragraph 2(c)(vi) shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the grant of any compulsory licenses for layout-designs.
(3) Neither Party is required to extend protection to layout-designs that are commonplace in the industry at the time of their creation or to layout-designs that are exclusively dictated by the functions of the circuit to which they apply.
(4) Each Party may exempt the following from liability under its law:
(A) reproduction of a layout-design for purposes of teaching, analysis, or evaluation in the course of preparation of a layout-design that is itself original;
(B) importation and distribution of semiconductor chips, incorporating a protected layout-design, which were sold by or with the consent of the owner of the layout-design; and
(C) importation or distribution up to the point of notice of a semiconductor chip incorporating a protected layout-design and products incorporating such chips by a person who establishes that he did not know, and had no reasonable grounds to believe, that the layout-design was protected; provided that, with respect to stock on hand or purchased at the time notice is received, such person may import or distribute only such stock, but is liable for a reasonable royalty on the sale of each item after notice is received.
(iii) Term of Protection
The term of protection for the lay-out design shall extend for at least ten years from the date of first commercial exploitation or the date of registration of the design, if required, whichever is earlier.
(e) Acts Contrary to Honest Commercial Practices and the Protection of Trade Secrets
(i) In the course of ensuring effective protection against unfair competition as provided for in Article 10 bis of the Paris Convention, each Party shall provide in its domestic law and practice the legal means for nationals, companies and organizations to prevent trade secrets from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without the consent of the trade secret owner in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices, insofar as such information:
(1) is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known or readily ascertainable;
(2) has actual or potential commercial value because it is not generally known or readily ascertainable; and
(3) has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances to keep it secret.
(ii) Neither Party shall limit the duration of protection for trade secrets so long as the conditions in paragraph 2(e)(i) of this letter exist.
Neither Party shall discourage or impede voluntary licensing of trade secrets by imposing excessive or discriminatory conditions on such licenses or conditions which dilute the value of trade secrets.
(iv) Government Use
(1) If a Party requires, as a condition of approving the marketing of pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical products which utilize new chemical entities, the submission of undisclosed test or other data, the origination of which involves a considerable effort, that Party shall protect such data against unfair commercial use. Further, each Party shall protect such data against disclosure except where necessary to protect the public or unless steps are taken to ensure that the data is protected against unfair commercial use.
(2) Unless the national or company submitting the information agrees, the data may not be relied upon for the approval of competing products for a reasonable period of time, taking into account the efforts involved in the origination of the data, their nature, and the expenditure involved in their preparation, and such period of time shall generally be not less than -five years from the date of marketing approval.
(3) Where a Party relies upon a marketing -approval granted by the other Party or a country other than the United States or Bulgaria, the reasonable period of exclusive use of the data submitted in connection with obtaining the approval relied upon shall commence with the date of the first marketing approval relied upon.
(f) Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
(i) Each Party shall protect intellectual property rights covered by this letter by means of civil law, -criminal law, or administrative law or a combination thereof in conformity with the provisions below. Each Party shall provide effective procedures, internally and at the border, to protect these intellectual property rights against any act of infringement, and effective remedies to stop and prevent infringements and to effectively deter further infringements. These procedures shall be applied in such a manner as to avoid the creation of obstacles to legitimate trade and provide for safeguards against abuse.
(ii) Procedures concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights shall be fair and equitable.
(iii) Decisions on the merits of a case shall, as a general rule, be in writing and reasoned. They shall be made known at least to the parties to the dispute without undue delay.
(iv) Each Party shall provide an opportunity for judicial review of final administrative decisions on the merits of an action concerning the protection of an intellectual property right. Subject to jurisdictional provisions in national laws concerning the importance of a case, an opportunity for judicial review of the legal aspects of initial judicial decisions on the merits of a case concerning the protection of an intellectual property right shall also be provided.
(v) Remedies against a Party
Notwithstanding the other provisions of paragraph 2(f), when a Party is sued for infringement of an intellectual property right as a result of the use of that right by or for the government, the Party may limit remedies against the government to payment of full compensation to the right-holder.
3. Each Party agrees to submit for enactment, no later than December 31, 1992, the legislation necessary to carry out the obligations of this letter and to exert its best efforts to enact and implement this legislation by that date.
4. For purposes of this letter:
(a) "right-holder," means the right-holder himself, any other natural or legal person authorized by him who are exclusive licensees of the right, or other authorized persons, including federations and associations, having legal standing under domestic law to assert such rights;
(b) "A manner contrary to honest commercial practice" is understood to encompass, inter alia , practices such as theft, bribery, breach of contract, inducement to breach, electronic and other forms of commercial espionage, and includes the acquisition of trade secrets by third parties who knew, or had reasonable grounds to know, that such practices were involved in the acquisition.
(c) Unless otherwise indicated by the context, all terms in this letter shall have the same meaning as in the Agreement.
5. Nothing in this letter shall be construed to diminish the rights of nationals and companies of a Party under the Agreement.
I have the further honor to propose that this understanding be treated as an integral part of the Agreement. I would be grateful if you would confirm that this understanding is shared by your Government.
I have the further honor to confirm that the foregoing understanding is shared by my Government and constitutes an integral part of the Agreement.
Carla A. Hills
Washington, April 22, 1991
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
I have the honor to confirm receipt of your letter which reads as follows:
Dear Madam Ambassador:
In connection with the signing on this date of the Agreement on Trade Relations Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria (the "Agreement" ), I have the honor to confirm the following understanding reached by our Governments:
As part of its economic liberalization process, the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria intends to make its currency convertible as soon as possible. Until the Bulgarian currency becomes freely convertible, the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria, for purposes of this Agreement, will provide access to freely convertible currencies, including through auctions, on a most-favored-nation basis.
Any permission required for commercial representations to establish and operate in the Republic of Bulgaria and any registrations required in the Republic of Bulgaria in order for nationals of either Party to engage or serve as agents, consultants or distributors in the territory of' the Republic of Bulgaria will be accomplished through a simple registration process pursuant to which the permission or registration will be automatically and expeditiously granted, normally within 30 days of application, subject, of course, to regulations consistent with the exceptions set forth in Articles XIII and XVI of the Agreement.
Customs Unions or Free Trade Areas
With respect to Paragraph 4 (a) of Article I of the Agreement, a Party may invoke this exception with respect to a customs union, free trade area, or an interim agreement necessary for the formation of the same, which is consistent with Article XXIV of the GATT, and only if such Party informs the other Party of its plans with respect to such customs union or free trade area and affords such other Party adequate opportunity for consultation.
In the event of Bulgaria's accession to the GATT, the Parties agree to consult to determine whether any changes to this Agreement are necessary or desirable.
I have the honor to propose that this understanding be treated as an integral part of the Agreement. I would be grateful if you would confirm that this understanding is shared by your Government.
I have the further honor to confirm that the foregoing understanding is shared by my government and constitutes an integral part of the Agreement.
Carla A. Hills
Washington, April 22, 1991
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
I have the honor to confirm receipt of your letter of today's date which reads as follows:
"In connection with the signing on this date of the Agreement on Trade Relations Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (the "Agreement"), I have the honor to confirm the understanding reached by our Governments (the "Parties") regarding tourism and travel-related services as follows:
1. The Parties recognize the need to encourage and promote the growth of tourism and travel-related investment and trade between the United States of America and the People's Republic of Bulgaria. In this regard, the Parties recognize the desirability of exploring the possibility of negotiating a separate bilateral agreement on tourism.
2. The Parties recognize the benefits to both economies of increased tourism and travel-related investment in and trade between their two territories.
Official Tourism Promotion Offices
3. Each Party shall seek permission of the other Party prior to the establishment of official, governmental tourism promotion offices in the other's territory.
4. Permission to open tourism promotion offices or field offices, and the status of personnel who head and staff such offices, shall be as agreed upon by the Parties and subject to the applicable laws and regulations of the host country.
5. Tourism promotion offices opened by either Party shall be operated on a non-commercial basis. Official tourism promotion offices and the personnel assigned to them shall not function as agents or principals in commercial transactions, enter into contractual agreements on behalf of commercial organizations or engage in other commercial activities. Such offices shall not sell services to the public or otherwise compete with private sector travel agents or tour operators of the host country.
6. Official governmental tourism offices shall engage in activities related to the facilitation of development of tourism between the United States and the People's Republic of Bulgaria, including:
a) providing information about the tourism facilities and attraction in their respective countries to the public, and travel trade and the media;
b) conducting meetings and workshops for representatives of the travel industry;
c) participating in trade shows;
d) distributing advertising materials such as posters, brochures and slides, and coordinating advertising campaigns; and
e) performing market research.
7. Nothing in this side letter shall obligate either Party to open such offices in the territory of the other Party.
Commercial Tourism Enterprises
8. Commercial tourism enterprises, whether privately or governmentally-owned, shall be treated as private commercial enterprises, fully subject to all applicable laws and regulations of the host country.
9. Each Party shall ensure within the scope of its legal authority and in accordance with its laws and regulations that any company owned, controlled or administered by that Party or any joint venture therewith or any private company or joint venture between private companies, which effectively controls a significant portion of the supply of any tourism or travel--related service in the territory of that Party shall provide those services to national and companies of the other Party on a fair and equitable basis.
10. Nothing in this letter or in the Agreement shall be construed to mean that tourism and travel-related services shall not receive the benefits from the Agreement as fully as all other industries and sectors.
I have the honor to propose that this understanding be treated as an integral part of the Agreement. I would be grateful if you would confirm that this understanding is shared by your Government."
I have the further honor to confirm that the foregoing is shared by my Government and constitutes an integral part of the Agreement.
Wylie H. Whisonant, Jr.
Acting Under Secretary
Terms of Reference:
The United States-Bulgaria Joint Commercial Commission
The United States-Bulgaria Joint Commercial Commission is established by the Governments of the United States and Bulgaria to facilitate the development of commercial relations and related economic matters between the United States of America and the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Commission shall work and shall formulate recommendations on the basis of mutual consent.
The Commission shall:
--Review the operation of the U.S. Bulgaria Trade Agreement and make recommendations for achieving its objectives in order to obtain the maximum benefit therefrom;
--Exchange information about amendments and developments in the regulations of the United States and Bulgaria affecting trade under the U.S.-Bulgaria Trade Agreement;
--Consider measures which would develop and diversify trade and commercial cooperation. These measures shall include, but are not limited to encouraging and supporting contracts and cooperation between businesses of both countries, and between firms established in the United States and Bulgaria;
--Monitor and exchange views on U.S.-Bulgaria commercial relations; identify and where possible recommend solutions to issues of interest to both Parties;
--Provide a forum for exchanging information in areas of commercial, industrial, and technological cooperation, where they have an impact on commercial relations; and
--Consider other steps which could be taken to facilitate and encourage the growth and development of commercial relations and related economic matters between the two countries.
The Commission shall be comprised of two sections, a U.S. section and a Bulgarian section. Each section shall be composed of a chairman and other government officials as designated by each Party.
The Commission shall meet as often as mutually agreed by the Parties, alternatively in Washington and Sofia.
Appropriate senior-level officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations shall act as co-chairmen of the Commission, and shall head their respective sections; each section of the Commission shall include other government officials as designated by each Party.
The Commission shall work on the basis of mutual agreement. The Commission shall, as necessary, adopt rules of procedure and work programs. The Commission may, as mutually agreed, establish joint working groups to consider specific matters. These working groups shall function in accordance with the instructions of the Commission.
Each section shall have an Executive Secretary, named by the chairman, who shall arrange the work of their respective section of the Commission. The Executive Secretary shall arrange the work of their respective section of the Commission, and perform the tasks of an organizational or administrative nature connected with the meetings of the Commission.
The Executive Secretaries shall communicate with each other as necessary to arrange Commission meetings and to perform other functions. Agendas for Commission meetings shall be agreed upon not later then one month prior to the meeting. The meeting shall consider matters included in this agenda, as well as further matters which may be added to the agenda by mutual agreement.
The Commission and its working groups shall work on the basis of mutual agreement. Agreed minutes signed by the co-chairmen of the Commission shall be made public by each side. The Parties shall advise each other whenever measures and recommendations agreed to are subject to the subsequent approval of their respective governments.
Any document mutually agreed upon during the work of the Commission shall be in the English and Bulgarian languages, each language being equally authentic.
Expenses incidental to the meetings of the Commission and any working group established by the Commission shall be borne by the host country. Travel expenses from one country to the other, as well as living and other personal expenses of representatives participating in meetings of the Commission and any working group of the Commission shall be borne by the Party which sends such persons to represent it.
Each section may invite advisers and experts to participate at any meeting of the Commission or its working groups, except that such participation must be mutually agreed by the Parties in advance of the meetings.
The terms of reference of the Commission may be amended by mutual agreement of the Parties at any meeting or during the periods between meetings of the Commission.
Done in Washington, D.C., April 22, 1991, in two copies, in the English and Bulgarian languages, both texts being equally authentic.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Thomas J. Duesterberg
U.S. Department of Commerce
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA:
Ognian R. Pisher
TANC offers these agreements electronically as a public service for general reference.
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However, copies needed for legal purposes should be obtained from official archives maintained by the appropriate agency.