Customs and import to Sofia

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Just like most countries within the EU, there are several requirements and restrictions when it comes to entering the country of Bulgaria. Proper documentation will be required when moving to Bulgaria as an expat. This is something that can be handled at your country's Bulgarian Embassy. You will provide all documentation to the officer and they will help guide you through the process.

The required documents when moving to the country are:

  • Passport (copy)
  • Work permit (original)
  • Bulgarian ID card (for long-term residence).
  • Letter from employer in Bulgaria confirming transfer (it must state how long shipper has been working abroad)
  • Letter of Attorney
  • Declaration of value of goods
  • Inventory (in English and signed and dated by the customer)
  • Letter of Authorization for service provider to deal with customs clearance verified by a notary
  • Proof of Bulgarian residency

Household goods can be imported up to three months after customer's arrival. Also, household and personal items can be imported duty-free provided that they are for personal use.

Prohibited Items:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Bulgarian currency
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Dangerous chemicals
  • Substances which damage the ozone layer
  • Quarantined pets
  • Pornographic material
  • Fireworks

Restricted Items:

  • Machinery and equipment
  • Plants
  • Tobacco products
  • Liquor
  • Antiques
  • Home computers
  • New electrical items and furniture
  • Up to 60g total weight of jewelry and accessories from alloys of gold and platinum
  • Up to 300g total weight of jewelry, coins and accessories from alloys of silver (processed or half-processed)
  • Embedded precious stones
  • Guns and ammunition (require permission/permits)

Motor Vehicle Shipping Regulations for Bulgaria:

  • One motor vehicle can be imported duty-free
  • A foreign-registered car can only be used by the owner or person with written permission from owner
  • Documents required:
    • Passport (copy)
    • Proof of ownership (original title of vehicle)
    • Purchase invoice (must be owner's property for more than six months)
    • Performa-invoice (prepared by origin agent)
    • EUR 1 Certificate
    • Foreign registration card
    • Visa
    • Driver's license
    • Proof of insurance

To learn more about Bulgarian customs regulations, visit here.

Importing Pets to Bulgaria

If you want to bring your pet abroad, it can be done but takes planning and preparation. Taking your pet into another country usually includes:

  • Microchiping - to verify pets identity. All microchips conforming to the ISO standards are easily readable.
  • Vaccination - Vaccinations range from country to country, but in general every pet older than 3 months must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before arrival. However the vaccination cannot be older than 12 months from the date of arrival. Dogs may also get full shots for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and DHLPP. Cats may also be vaccinated against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
  • Certificate of good health - Issued by a vet after an exam. You will usually need to get an official form from the consulate or embassy of the country you are moving to. It is often available on-line from the customs website.

Transporting Pets to Bulgaria

Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. Small birds may also be able to travel in the cabin, but tropical birds such as parrots are usually not allowed.

If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel.

Before leaving, acquaint your animal with the kennel or container. Add some familiar toys or some of your clothing items, so your pet has a sense of familiarity during the transport. Sedation of your pet during the trip is generally not recommended and should only be used as a last resort.

There are also pet relocation service that figure out all the details of the move. These services tend to be quite expensive, but take away the stress of doing it yourself.

Pet Quarantine in Bulgaria

A pet can be quarantined only in cases when the owner has failed to provide the necessary documentation and will be released as soon as the requirements for bringing the pet into the country are met. For more information about the documentation and requirements for pets, visit the customs and regulations of Bulgaria pet section on the Movers website.

Customs Recourses

U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at http://www.cbp.gov/ is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").

You can also contact:

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667

Canadian Citizens: "I Declare", issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500 ) is helpful.

Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to http://www.customs.gov.au/.

Update 6/06/2018


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