Bulgarian Customs Agency Head Expects Lukoil Court Battle to Drag On
Bulgarian Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov has said that he expects the Lukoil case to drag on for a very long time.
"The court acted swiftly when it had to decide on the issue of preliminary execution, but I am sure that the ruling on the substance of the case cannot arrive as fast. They will play for time until Lukoil installs the measuring devices", Tanov said in a Thursday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
Regarding Wednesday's pronouncement of the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS), which upheld a previous ruling suspending the preliminary execution of the license withdrawal, Tanov said that the court of second instance had in effect allowed Lukoil to remain operational despite the refinery's failure to meet statutory obligations.
Tanov further explained that the legal experts of the Customs Agency had not made a mistake by implementing the preliminary execution clause because "Bulgarian law does not provide for a license suspension procedure without preliminary execution".
Regarding the license withdrawal, the Customs Agency head said that it was "clear to everybody" that Lukoil had not met legal requirements and, what is more, had not made any steps in this direction in the course of a year and a half.
Tanov expressed doubts that the company would equip the crude oil processing plant with the mandatory electronic devices by end-2011.
"As there are no measuring devices, we register documented volumes only. It remains an open question whether this corresponds to the actual volumes. The entire monitoring of the refinery involves a team of over 200 people. Apart from that,16 mobile units have been stationed at the refinery to keep track of the movement of tank trucks within the country. This monitoring procedure will continue until the measuring devices are installed", Tanov stated.
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