Bulgaria will request from the European Commission an exemption from levying excise duties on electricity and natural gas, as part of a raft of measures it will begin putting in place this week to tackle the economic impact of high fuel prices, the government said.
Under current EU rules, member states may apply for full or partial exemptions or reduced rates of taxation in relation to power from renewable energy sources, energy products and electricity used for the transport of goods and passengers by rail, metro, tram or trolleybus as well as electricity, natural gas, coal and solid fuels for household use, the government said in a press release on Friday.
EU countries may also be able to get an exemption from excise on natural gas where the share of gas in the end energy consumption is below 15%, the government added.
The announcement came after a meeting of cabinet ministers with representatives of Bulgarian transport companies, which have threatened nationwide protests demanding subsidies and the halving of excise duties on motor fuels, according to local media reports.
Bulgaria will also seek an exemption from a potential European Commission embargo on imports of Russian oil if such an option is available, Bulgarian finance minister Assen Vassilev has said.