Customs Formalities and Procedures in Bulgaria

A. DUTY-FREE Imports of Used Vehicles and Personal Effects, Imported by INDIVIDUALS.

Requirements for Duty-free Import

Individuals who had permanent residence out of Bulgarian territory at least 12 consistent months and are returning back for permanent residence in Bulgaria are permitted to have duty-free import of personal property and used transport vehicles as automobiles, motorcycles, boats.
Another requirement which concerns only the vehicles is that they must have been property of the individuals at least for 6 months before the change of residence, i.e. to be acquired during the stay out of the territories of the Republic of Bulgaria and to have been their property at least 6 months before their export (date of departure) to Bulgaria.

Documents, Confirming the Requirements for Duty-free Import

The individual is expected to show the following documents, demanded by the customs authorities, to verify the residence out of Bulgarian territory.

– Bulgarian identity card
– International passport of the individual, verifying the period of residence abroad and driving license
– Visa or Green Card
– Labour contract, by which is shown the period of staying abroad of the individual.
– Letter form an employer, where is written that the individual has worked for a definite period of time outside the territories of Bulgaria
– Copies form airplane tickets (usually the customs agency expects one-way ticket to Bulgaria)
– Prints of paid utility bills (electricity, water, telephones, Internet)

The individual has to show the following documents, required by the customs agencies, to verify the ownership of the transport vehicles:

– Original title of the transport vehicle on which is written the date of acquisition (mandatory)
– Purchase Agreement of the vehicle
– Invoice, Bill of Sale

Other Mandatory Documents Needed for the Import

– Request addressed to the chief of the customs agency (free text – look the example)
– Notarized declaration for return in the Republic of Bulgaria (look the example)
– EORI registration
– Inventory of the personal effects (if any) with declared value for customs needs

Procedure for Duty-free Import

1. The individual who is candidate for duty-free import ( FreeLine Ltd., as an authorized customs agent, sends a request /free text – look the example/, inventory of the personal effects, copy of the vehicle’s title and all other documents certifying the individual’s residence out of Bulgarian territory to the chief of the customs agency). The request is submitted after the arriving of the property/car at a port in Bulgaria.

2. The chief of the custom agency, in whose region is set the permanent residence of the individual (address registration on ID card) gives permission for the duty-free import.

3. After receiving permission for duty-free import, a customs declaration is prepared and the property / car are customs cleared and the individual can freely use them.

Subsequent Procedures for Personal Automobiles

After organizing of the duty-free import the recipient of the automobile is supposed to issue a certificate for homologation (standardization by DEKRA) and is obliged to register the car in KAT (as DMV in USA). After the registration in KAT the individual has to make an address registration of the vehicle in the Municipality.

Remark: The vehicles which are imported in Bulgaria as duty-free import can not be sold within a period of one year.

B. Import of Used Vehicles and Personal Effects, Imported by INDIVIDUALS.

Import of used vehicles and personal effects, imported by individuals is performed by the customs agency, located in the region where is set the permanent residence of the individual (address registration on the identity card).

Documents for Import

The individual has to present the following documents, usually required by the customs authorities, to verify the ownership of the vehicles:

– Original title of the transport vehicle
– Original Purchase Agreement of the vehicle or original invoice, Bill of Sale
– EORI registration (it is cost-free made by the custom agency, which is in the region where is set the permanent residence of the individual /address registration on the identity card/).
– Inventory of the personal effects (if any) with declared value for customs needs
– Copy of Bulgarian identity card

Procedure for Import

1. Based on the necessary documents mentioned above, it is prepared an import customs declaration, where are listed the customs duties (duty and VAT). The importer /FreeLine Ltd. as an authorized customs agent orders/pays in cash, the duties to the accounts of the relevant customs agency. The payment of the customs duties is performed one day before the submitting of the customs declaration to the customs. Copies of the payment documents should be given to the customs agent / FreeLine Ltd. Look down the page for an example how the duties are being calculated.

2. After submitting the customs declaration and the acceptance of the import, property / car are customs cleared and the individual can freely use them.

Subsequent Procedures for Personal Automobiles

After organizing of the regular import the recipient of the vehicle is supposed to issue a certificate for homologation (standardization by DEKRA) and is obliged to register the car in KAT (as DMV in USA). After the registration in KAT the individual has to make an address registration of the vehicle in the Municipality

VAT Rates and Duty Valid for 2013

Duty – 10% for automobiles and ATV
Duty – 6% for motorbikes
Duty – 1,7% for boats and jets
Duty – 2,7% for trailers of boats and jets
Duty – 2,5% for personal effects with total value up to 700 EUR
VAT – 20% for all listed vehicles and personal effects

Example for Calculating Duty and VAT, when Importing Automobiles form USA:

Value of the automobile – $ 10 000
Transport from USA to Bulgaria – $ 1500
Duty payable: 10% of the value of the automobile and the transport
(10 000 + 1500) x 10% = $1150
VAT payable: 20% of the value of the automobile, the transport and the duty
(10 000 + 1500 + 1150) x 20% = $ 2530

Total of customs duties: $ 1150 duty + $ 2350 VAT = $ 3680