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Foreign trade regime and major regulations

Bulgaria applies a liveral foreign trade regime meeting the WTO requirements. In accordance with the trade liberalization policy, the number of goods subject to permits or registration has been reduced, following the Council of Ministers Decree No.233 of November 8th, 2000, whose latest alteration and amendment establish the current foreign trade regime.

Customs regime, export and import quota and license system, tariffs

Subject to registration (automatic licensing) are several kinds of timber and firewood for export.

The permit (non-automatic licensing) regime originates from Bulgarias compliance with the international agreements and respective domestic laws. Permits are required for transactions with several commodity groups, mainly nuclear material, radioactive substances, gunpowder, explosives; hunting and sporting arms, pharmaceuticals for human and veterinary medicine, military products or special purpose products, and goods and technologies with possible dual use (civil and military), wild animals and plant species, etc. No customs duties and taxes are charged on exported goods.

Bulgaria applies export quotas only on those goods which are subject to international agreements. The Customs Law is based on the EU Customs code. The Bulgarian Customs Tariff is based on the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and on the EU Combined Nomenclature. The customs clearance of goods requests the presentation of a customs declaration, which is similar to the Single Administrative Document used in the EU, accompanied by the usually required commercial documents.

Bulgaria applies the General System of Preferences, recommended by the UNCTAD, which sets lower tariffs for imports from developing countries.

Major bilateral and multilateral trade agreements

WTO: Bulgaria has been a member since 1 December 1996.

European Union: Europe Agreement of Association; The Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade Related Matters was enforced on 31 December 1993. Since 1 January 2002 trade in industrial goods between Bulgaria and the EU has been duty-free.

Free Trade Agreements with: EFTA, CEFTA, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania and Israel.

Duty-free zones

There are six duty-free zones (FZ), located on strategic transport routs leading to the main international markets namely in Vidin, Rousse, Dragoman, Svilengrad, Plovdiv and Bourgas. A purpose-set joint stock company or a state owned company manages each FZ. All FZ`s have customs brokerage. FZ`s are favourable for general commercial activities: warehousing, packaging, labeling, distribution, re-export. Only under certain conditions are FZ`s suitable for manufacturing activity inward processing and other customs regimes. In the general case, the entry of goods into FZ`s is free of duty and VAT.

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