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Special Import/Export Requirements and Certifications

Products for human consumption should be analyzed in approved local laboratories in cooperation with local authorities. The State Agency for Standards and Metrology strictly enforces Bulgarian quality standards, which do not always coincide with generally accepted international standards. Foreign certificates may or may not be considered adequate. After approval is issued, the commodities may be sold on the local market.

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The 1995 Law on Prices regulates labeling and marking requirements. In addition to the EU mandatory and voluntary schemes, national voluntary labeling schemes might still apply. Manufacturers should be aware that all labels require metric units although dual labeling is also acceptable. The use of language on labels contains multilingual information. Labels must contain the following information in Bulgarian: quality, quantity, ingredients, certification authorization number (if any), and manner of storage, transport, use or maintenance. The product must be clearly marked with the date of production, expiration date and the warranty period.

New requirements for compliance with EU legislation, starting in 2005, require labels to include information on the recyclable content of packaging material.

Customs Regulation

Bulgarias customs regulations are based on the 1998 Customs Act, which generally corresponds to the provisions of the European Community Customs Code.

Customs valuation is based on the transaction value the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to Bulgaria, defined in Bulgarian levs. The dutiable value is CIP consisting of the purchase price, transportation costs, insurance charges, commissions, royalties, license fees and all other expenditures associated with the transport (e.g., loading and unloading) for delivery to the Bulgarian border.

Goods are declared by a customs declaration, by designated simplified procedures such as a simplified customs declaration, a commercial or other document, or by entry in the records of the declarer, or by data-processing entry or other approved method. The customs authorities may carry out post-clearance examination of relevant documents or data.

The law sets out procedures concerning transit, customs warehousing, inward processing, processing under customs control, temporary import, and outward processing. The law provides for public and private bonded warehouses.

The GOB introduced into its 2003 customs Tariff separate rates for "conventional customs duties" and "autonomous customs duties" as required by the European Agreement and the List of Obligations and Waivers to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994. Bulgaria's Customs Tariff has been changed in order to bring the structure of applied customs duties into compliance with the categories identified by the World Trade Organization and the EU Combined Nomenclature and Integrated Customs Tariff.

The Council of Ministers is planning to approve a Regulation, which will spell out the conditions for granting tariff suspensions (suspensive measures) and autonomous quotas. Until this regulation is adopted, the 2002 tariff mechanism will be applied taking into account only Bulgaria's WTO obligations. The purpose of this approach is not to lower the average rates of customs tariffs prior to a new WTO round and Bulgaria's accession to the EU.

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