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The Treaty of Peace (Bulgaria) Order 1948

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PART VIECONOMIC CLAUSES

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.

Article 25

1.  Each of the Allied and Associated Powers shall have the right to seize, retain, liquidate or take any other action with respect to all property, rights and interests which at the coming into force of the present Treaty are within its territory and belong to Bulgaria or to Bulgarian nationals, and to apply such property or the proceeds thereof to such purposes as it may desire, within the limits of its claims and those of its nationals against Bulgaria or Bulgarian nationals, including debts, other than claims fully satisfied under other Articles of the present Treaty. All Bulgarian property, or the proceeds thereof, in excess of the amount of such claims, shall be returned.

2.  The liquidation and disposition of Bulgarian property shall be carried out in accordance with the law of the Allied or Associated Power concerned. The Bulgarian owner shall have no rights with respect to such property except those which may be given him by that law.

3.  The Bulgarian Government undertakes to compensate Bulgarian nationals whose property is taken under this Article and not returned to them.

4.  No obligation is created by this Article on any Allied or Associated Power to return industrial property to the Bulgarian Government or Bulgarian nationals, or to include such property in determining the amounts which may be retained under paragraph I of this Article. The Government of each of the Allied and Associated Powers shall have the right to impose such limitations, conditions and restrictions on rights or interests with respect to industrial property in the territory of that Allied or Associated Power, acquired prior to the coming into force of the present Treaty by the Government or nationals of Bulgaria, as may be deemed by the Government of the Allied or Associated Power to be necessary in the national interest.

5.  The property covered by paragraph I of this Article shall be deemed to include Bulgarian property which has been subject to control by reason of a state of war existing between Bulgaria and the Allied or Associated Power having jurisdiction over the property, but shall not include:

(a)Property of the Bulgarian Government used for consular or diplomatic purposes;

(b)Property belonging to religious bodies or private charitable institutions and used for religious or charitable purposes;

(c)Property of natural persons who are Bulgarian nationals permitted to reside within the territory of the country in which the property is located or to reside elsewhere in United Nations territory, other than Bulgarian property which at any time during the war was subjected to measures not generally applicable to the property of Bulgarian nationals resident in the same territory;

(d)Property rights arising since the resumption of trade and financial relations between the Allied and Associated Powers and Bulgaria, or arising out of transactions between the Government of any Allied or Associated Power and Bulgaria since October 28, 1944;

(e)Literary and artistic property rights.

Article 27

1.  The existence of the state of war shall not, in itself, be regarded as affecting the obligation to pay pecuniary debts arising out of obligations and contracts which existed, and rights which were acquired, before the existence of the state of war, which became payable prior to the coming into force of the present Treaty, and which are due by the Government or nationals of Bulgaria to the Government or nationals of one of the Allied and Associated Powers or are due by the Government or nationals of one of the Allied and Associated Powers to the Government or nationals of Bulgaria.

2.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in the present Treaty, nothing therein shall be construed as impairing debtor-creditor relationships arising out of pre-war contracts concluded either by the Government or nationals of Bulgaria.

Article 28

1.  Bulgaria waives all claims of any description against the Allied and Associated Powers on behalf of the Bulgarian Government or Bulgarian nationals arising directly out of the war or out of actions taken because of the existence of a state of war in Europe after September 1, 1939, whether or not the Allied or Associated Power was at war with Bulgaria at the time, including the following:

(a)Claims for losses or damages sustained as a consequence of acts of forces or authorities of Allied or Associated Powers;

(b)Claims arising from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of Allied or Associated Powers in Bulgarian territory;

(c)Claims with respect to the decrees or orders of Prize Courts of Allied or Associated Powers, Bulgaria agreeing to accept as valid and binding all decrees and orders of such Prize Courts on or after September 1, 1939, concerning Bulgarian ships or Bulgarian goods or the payment of costs;

(d)Claims arising out of the exercise or purported exercise of belligerent rights.

2.  The provisions of this Article shall bar, completely and finally, all claims of the nature referred to herein, which will be henceforward extinguished, whoever may be the parties in interest. The Bulgarian Government agrees to make equitable compensation in levas to persons who furnished supplies or services on requisition to the forces of Allied or Associated Powers in Bulgarian territory and in satisfaction of non-combat damage claims against the forces of Allied or Associated Powers arising in Bulgarian territory.

3.  Bulgaria likewise waives all claims of the nature covered by paragraph I of this Article on behalf of the Bulgarian Government or Bulgarian nationals against any of the United Nations whose diplomatic relations with Bulgaria were broken off during the war and which took action in co-operation with the Allied and Associated Powers.

4.  The waiver of claims by Bulgaria under paragraph I of this Article includes any claims arising out of actions taken by any of the Allied and Associated Powers with respect to Bulgarian ships between September 1, 1939, and the coming into force of the present Treaty, as well as any claims and debts arising out of the Conventions on prisoners of war now in force.

Article 31

1.  Any disputes which may arise in connection with Articles 22 and 23 and Annexes IV, V and VI of the present Treaty shall be referred to a Conciliation Commission composed of an equal number of representatives of the United Nations Government concerned and of the Bulgarian Government. If agreement has not been reached within three months of the dispute having been referred to the Conciliation Commission, either Government may require the addition of a third member to the Commission, and failing agreement between the two Governments on the selection of this member, the Secretary-General of the United Nations may be requested by either party to make the appointment.

2.  The decision of the majority of the members of the Commission shall be the decision of the Commission and shall be accepted by the parties as definitive and binding.

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