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The Treaty of Peace (Bulgaria) Order 1948

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Article 23

1.  In so far as Bulgaria has not already done so, Bulgaria shall restore all legal rights and interests in Bulgaria of the United Nations and their nationals as they existed on April 24, 1941, and shall return all property in Bulgaria of the United Nations and their nationals as it now exists.

2.  The Bulgarian Government undertakes that all property, rights and interests passing under this Article shall be restored free of all encumbrances and charges of any kind to which they may have become subject as a result of the war and without the imposition of any charges by the Bulgarian Government in connection with their return. The Bulgarian Government shall nullify all measures, including seizures, sequestration or control, taken by it against United Nations property between April 24, 1941, and the coming into force of the present Treaty. In cases where the property has not been returned within six months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, application shall be made to the Bulgarian authorities not later than twelve months from the coming into force of the Treaty, except in cases in which the claimant is able to show that he could not file his application within this period.

3.  The Bulgarian Government shall invalidate transfers involving property, rights and interests of any description belonging to United Nations nationals, where such transfers resulted from force or duress exerted by Axis Governments or their agencies during the war.

4.—(a) The Bulgarian Government shall be responsible for the restoration to complete good order of the property returned to United Nations nationals under paragraph I of this Article. In cases where property cannot be returned or where, as a result of the war, a United Nations national has suffered a loss by reason of injury or damage to property in Bulgaria, he shall receive from the Bulgarian Government compensation in levas to the extent of two thirds of the sum necessary, at the date of payment, to purchase similar property or to make good the loss suffered. In no event shall United Nations nationals receive less favourable treatment with respect to compensation than that accorded to Bulgarian nationals.

(b)United Nations nationals who hold, directly or indirectly, ownership interests in corporations or associations which are not United Nations nationals within the meaning of paragraph 8(a) of this Article, but which have suffered a loss by reason of injury or damage to property in Bulgaria, shall receive compensation in accordance with sub-paragraph (a) above. This compensation shall be calculated on the basis of the total loss or damage suffered by the corporation or association and shall bear the same proportion to such loss or damage as the beneficial interests of such nationals in the corporation or association bear to the total capital thereof.

(c)Compensation shall be paid free of any levies, taxes or other charges. It shall be freely usable in Bulgaria but shall be subject to the foreign exchange control regulations which may be in force in Bulgaria from time to time.

(d)The Bulgarian Government shall accord to United Nations nationals the same treatment in the allocation of materials for the repair or rehabilitation of their property in Bulgaria and in the allocation of foreign exchange for the importation of such materials as applies to Bulgarian nationals.

(e)The Bulgarian Government shall grant United Nations nationals an indemnity in levas at the same rate as provided in sub-paragraph (a) above to compensate them for the loss or damage due to special measures applied to their property during the war, and which were not applicable to Bulgarian property. This sub-paragraph does not apply to a loss of profit.

5.  All reasonable expenses incurred in Bulgaria in establishing claims, including the assessment of loss or damage, shall be borne by the Bulgarian Government.

6.  United Nations nationals and their property shall be exempted from any exceptional taxes, levies or imposts imposed on their capital assets in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Government or any Bulgarian authority between the date of the Armistice and the coming into force of the present Treaty for the specific purpose of meeting charges arising out of the war or of meeting the costs of occupying forces or of reparation payable to any of the United Nations. Any sums which have been so paid shall be refunded.

7.  The owner of the property concerned and the Bulgarian Government may agree upon arrangements in lieu of the provisions of this Article.

8.  As used in this Article:

(a)United Nations nationals” means individuals who are nationals of any of the United Nations, or corporations or associations organised under the laws of any of the United Nations, at the coming into force of the present Treaty, provided that the said individuals, corporations or associations also had this status at the date of the Armistice with Bulgaria.

The term “United Nations nationals” also includes all individuals, corporations or associations which, under the laws in force in Bulgaria during the war, have been treated as enemy;

(b)Owner” means the United Nations national, as defined in sub-paragraph (a) above, who is entitled to the property in question, and includes a successor of the owner, provided that the successor is also a United Nations national as defined in sub-paragraph (a). If the successor has purchased the property in its damaged state, the transferor shall retain his rights to compensation under this Article, without prejudice to obligations between the transferor and the purchaser under domestic law;

(c)Property” means all movable or immovable property, whether tangible or intangible, including industrial, literary and artistic property, as well as all rights or interests of any kind in property.

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