INTRODUCTION

The activities of firms producing processing and marketing crude oil, petroleum and gas is of interest to the business circles as well to the general public. This requires increased care and responsibility taking of them, and demands absolute observance of both the written and the unwritten conventions of business life. Being aware of the above, the members of the BPGA, besides complying with the regulations of law, volunteer to act according the rules formulated in this code of ethics and accept it as obligatory in the course of their business activities.


THE ORDER OF ETHICS OF THE BPGA

1. Members of the BPGA shall consider the Bulgarian laws as regulatory elements that are suitable for bringing market economy into being. Equal competitive conditions and the purity of business morals can be ensured solely within the framework of legal regulation. Members of the Association shall observe Bulgarian statutes, decrees and other legal rules fully and entirely and shall not display any activity that breaks them, goes contrary to them or is inconsistent with them.

2. Member firms shall honor all kinds of obligations and stipulated payments in statutes and decrees of taxation and customs fully and entirely, in due time and in regulated manner. Furthermore they shall not knowingly encourage the avoidance of taxation and customs obligations by others.

3. They shall keep records of all of their business activities, and shall fully and entirely observe the effective rules of registration and book keeping, with particular reference to keeping to their spirit. Beyond their internal controlling system they shall lend a hand to auditing the balance sheet, as well as the authorities controls.

4. In order to protect the natural environment they shall take the environmental regulations in effect for minimal requirements, the observance of which is a fundamental obligation.In order to reduce water,air, soil and noise pollution they shall strive for pursuing a practice that surpasses the statutory regulations and corresponds to the technical and economical features of the locality. They shall be instrumental in having environmental legislation and regulations approach the accepted international practice and the European norms.

5. The members undertake to ensure workplaces that are suitable for prevention of accidents and meet the requirements of work safety. They shall create circumstances among with the customers' and third parties' safety and absolute protection is ensured throughout rendering services to them. In their relations with contractual partners they shall promote their partners’ ability to create work safety of equal nature, and they shall make efforts to cooperate in the observance of work safety prescriptions as much as possible.

6. They shall ensure that the quality of their products and services meet the requirements, including the Bulgarian standards, correspond to the descriptions and specifications and they shall warrant the quality of their products. In conformity with the development of technological and environment protection regulations, they shall develop the quality of their services and products, and shall confront against debasement of any reason and thereby defrauding the customers or inflicting losses them.

7. They shall establish and operate their business activities on the basis of fair market competition and within a strict ethical framework. Each member shall have established an Ethic Policy which clearly defines their absolute opposition to the involvement of their staff or contractors in any form of dishonesty or corruption.

8. When recruiting staff the members should not approach directly and covertly specialized employees of other members in order to offer specific employment and thereby gain a distinct business advantage. They should use sound business practice in the consideration of employing staff previously dismissed from other member companies for breaching the rules of that organization. They should not knowingly employ anyone who has breached the companies Ethics Policy.

9. They shall take the observance of disciplinary rules for a basic precondition of business life and shall fully meet the obligations undertaken.

10. In their promotional activities and their advertisements or in the course of any kind of a social activity they shall not have recourse of any means that allows others to presume causing operating or trading loss by discrediting other competitors from the comparison of products, services or activities of any kind. The comparison of any products should not be directed at any competitor solely and shall not be deemed to be deceptive if all conditions for an impartial and professional examination are given, if subject examinations are based on comparative data disclosed to the public and the public is being informed on the essential characteristics of products compared, about their price and the conditions under which such prices are being applied. But even comparison of the kind described above may be delusive, if parts of results so obtained are extracted from the context and quoted tendentiously.

11. The members of the BPGA carry out their activities overtly, exposed to the general public. They shall disclose and release to the public and to those interested any information that does not harm their own or their contractual partner’s business interests.

12. Member companies are obliged to inform their employees, contracted parties and customers about the provisions of the present Code of Ethics. Member companies shall oblige themselves to observe the provisions of this Code and will take all reasonable measures to ensure that such rules are observed by contractors alike.

13. Member companies are expected to inform the Association about any events or acts which are in breach of the present Code if they outside the scope of the Association’s membership. This includes distribution of petroleum and gas products by an organization or natural person without satisfying the conditions required by law.

14. Member companies endeavor to carry on production, distribution, commercial, designing and construction-servicing operations. abstaining from participation in party politics and interference in political matters. It is however their legitimate right and responsibility to speak out matters which affect the interests of their employees, customers and shareholders, and on matters of general interest.


CHECKING THE OBSERVANCE OF THE CODE OF ETHICS OF THE BPGA

Complaints and reports regarding the observation of this Code shall be submitted to the President of the Association and are referred to the Committee on Ethics for a review and decision.


THE COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

The Committee on Ethics consists of experts in the field of production and trade with crude oil, petroleum and gas. Further to this the member firms accept a list of experts and pledge themselves to follow the decisions of the Committee.
The Committee on Ethics is called together for its first meeting by the President of BPGA at which meeting it works out Regulations for its activities to be subject of approval of the Managing Board.
When a report or complaint is submitted to the President of BPGA, he/she acquaints the Managing Board with its content and the MB of BPGA appoints three members of the list of experts to review the facts and take a decision within a defined period of time.
The Committee on Ethics may make the following resolutions if the ethical offense is ascertained:

  ascertainment of the offense in writing and warning to avoid such action in the future,

  ascertainment and condemnation of misconduct, with financial consequences: fine amounting up to three times the annual membership fee,

  temporary suspension of membership,

  termination of membership on a permanent basis, notice of termination to competent state bodies, requesting the authorities to withdraw the license of the company in question,

  making the offense public in the media,

The above sanctions may be combined.

Employees of member companies of the Association will not be on the Committee on Ethics.
The Committee members will be paid a fee for their services.


PUBLICATION OF THE CODE OF ETHICS

All member companies shall be obliged to inform their employees, contracted partners and customers about the provisions of this Code within 90 days of carrying into effect.

The present Code of Ethics shall carry into effect on March 1, 1999

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