Outline of the system
The importation of certain products into Bulgaria is subject to non-automatic import licensing.
Non-automatic licences are required for the importation of some products with a view to protect human, animal and plant health and life; to monitor trade in arms and munitions; and to fulfill the obligations of Bulgaria pursuant to international treaties. The licence is granted within five days after the submission of the application to the respective administrative body which is in charge of issuing of a licence.
Import licensing procedures are administered by a limited number of administrative bodies and are not related to quantity.
See the list of products subject to import licensing.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The licensing is not intended to restrict the quantity or value of imports. The importation of certain products into Bulgaria is subject to licensing in compliance with international commitments undertaken by Bulgaria, when Bulgarian legislation requires such a regime for sanitary, national security or other considerations pursuant to GATT 1994 Articles XX and XXI or for monitoring purposes.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The system applies to imports of goods originating in and coming from all countries.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
The licensing system is maintained under Regulation of the Council of Ministers No. 233 of 8 November 2000 on the foreign trade regime of Bulgaria, published in the State Gazette No.93 of 2000 and the amendments to that Regulation, published in the State Gazette No. 58 of 2001 and No. 112 of 2001. The list of products subject to import licensing and the administrative bodies responsible for the administration of the import licensing procedures are determined by the Council of Ministers and are given in the relevant annexes to Regulation of the Council of Ministers No. 233 / 2000.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
Any natural person or legal entity registered in accordance with the Trade Law is eligible to apply for a licence in writing.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
Information required on application:
- the name and address of the seller;
- the name and address of the buyer;
- the name and address of the end user;
- contract number;
- description of the goods, HS code, unit, quantity, unit price, value in foreign and national currency;
- country of origin;
- country of destination;
- terms of delivery;
- date of delivery;
- terms of payment;
- date of payment;
- exchange rate.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Importers are required to supply with the application the following documents:
commercial and tax registration certificates, unified identity code (code under BULSTAT), and documents necessary to certify the data in the import licensing application form, such as commercial contract, proforma invoice, quality certificate etc. In some cases, where it is defined by law to have a licence for trade or production of certain products, this licence is also required. On the importation of polycarbonates a contract with the end-user is required. On the importation of matrices for the production of compact discs a registration of the rights for reproduction and distribution is required.
In some cases, defined by a regulation of the respective administrative body, which is competent to issue the licence, documents certifying the fulfillment of the conditions under which the transaction is allowed may be also be required.
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
The application for a licence must be made prior to importation.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Licences can be granted immediately upon request.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
In all cases the consideration of licence applications is effected by a single administrative body, which is competent to issue a licence according to the type of the imported goods.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
There is a licensing fee necessary to cover the administrative expenses for processing of documents.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
No deposit or advance payment is required in connection with the issue of licences.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
If a non-automatic licence application is refused the applicant shall on request be given the reason therefor.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
The applicants have the right of appeal.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
The applicants have the right of appeal, in the event of refusal to issue a licence, under the general terms and conditions laid down in the Law on Administrative Procedure.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Upon actual importation the importer has to present to the customs’ authorities the following documents: pro forma invoice, transport documents, specifications, customs declaration, certificate of origin, import licence and any other documents as deemed necessary.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
There are no other administrative procedures required prior to importation apart from veterinary, phytosanitary and quality regulations.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
The period of validity of automatic and non-automatic import licences is up to three months from the date of issuance. The validity can be extended upon request.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There is no penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of it.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Licences are not transferable between importers.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
The foreign exchange necessary to pay for licensed imports are made available to licence holders on the same basis as to importers of goods not requiring import licences.