As of the beginning of January 2021, commodity trading companies interested in natural gas trade in Bulgaria may apply for granting a natural gas trade license before the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission. As of 1 October 2021 trade in natural gas in Bulgaria shall be performed only after obtaining a license issued by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission.
For years, trade in natural gas in Bulgaria has not been included in the activities requiring a license under the Bulgarian Energy Act. With the development of the market and the expansion of opportunities for free trade in natural gas, the legislator decided to make the trade in natural gas a licensed activity similar to trade in electricity. The licensing requirements regarding trade in natural gas were introduced in June 2020 by changes to the Energy Act. In addition to this, in December 2020 the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission adopted changes to the secondary energy legislation regulating the details of the procedure for applying and issuing a natural gas trade license.
With the same changes to the secondary energy legislation the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission introduced in the Bulgarian national legislation detailed regulation with regard to the reporting obligations and exercising of control over wholesale markets with a view of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency.