Taxation of imports in Bulgaria is regulated by the Value Added Tax Act. The importation of goods is subject to VAT at a rate of 20%.

According to the VAT Act importation of goods” is the introduction of non-EU goods into the territory of Bulgaria.

As well, “importation of goods” is the release of goods for free circulation after placing under the outward processing procedure.

Furthermore “importation of goods” means the introduction of EU goods into the territory of the country from third territories which form part of the customs territory of the European Union.

Importation of goods” is also any other event from which a customs debt arises.

The chargeable event for importation of goods occurs and the VAT tax becomes chargeable on the date on which the obligation to pay import duty within the territory of Bulgaria arises, or should have arisen, including where such an obligation does not exist or the rate of the said obligation is zero.

Where an obligation to pay import duty does not arise upon importation of goods, the chargeable event occurs and the VAT tax becomes chargeable on the date on which the customs formalities are completed.

The taxable amount is the value for customs purposes credited with, to the extent the following are not included in it:
  1. the taxes, duties, imposts and other charges due outside the territory of the country, as well as customs duties, excise duties and other charges due by reason of importation into the territory of Bulgaria;
  2. the expenses linked to the importation, such as commission, packing, transport and insurance costs, incurred up to the first place of destination of the goods within the territory of Bulgaria.

When goods have been temporarily exported from the territory of the country to a place outside the territory of the European Union for treatment, processing or repair under the outward processing procedure and are re-imported into the territory of Bulgaria, the taxable amount is the value of the treatment, processing or repair, credited with the abovementioned taxes, duties, expenses, etc.

The taxable amount does not include the trade discount or rebate, if allowed to the recipient not later than the date of occurrence of the chargeable event.

The tax upon importation is chargeable from the importer.

For VAT purposes “importer” is the person liable to pay the import duties, as well as the person who has received goods within the territory of Bulgaria from third countries or territories which form part of the customs territory of the European Union.

The tax upon importation is charged by the customs authorities, with the amount of tax being accounted for according to the procedure established for the customs debt.

The importer of goods remits the tax as follows:
  1. by crediting an account of the relevant customs office releasing for free circulation the goods liable to import duties;
  2. by crediting an account or in cash at the cash department of the relevant customs office releasing for free circulation the goods liable to import duties, where the importer is a natural person not registered for VAT purposes who is not a sole trader.
The importation of goods within the permitted duty-free import is exempt from tax when:
  1. goods of a total value not exceeding BGN 30 are being imported;
  2. small consignments are received of goods of non-commercial nature, sent by a third party from one natural person to another natural person within the country, without the latter person having paid for them, of a total value up to but not exceeding the BGN equivalent of EUR 45;
  3. personal items received as inheritance are being imported;
  4. used personal items of natural persons who relocate their usual place of residence in the European Union are being imported;
  5. property in connection with marriage is being imported;
  6. used household utensils are being imported after the termination of a temporary stay outside the European Union;
  7. orders, medals and honorary awards and prizes are being imported;
  8. samples of goods of negligible value are being imported;
  9. gifts received within the framework of the international relations are being imported;
  10. video and audio materials of educational, scientific or cultural nature, which are provided by the United Nations Organizations or by some of its specialized agencies, regardless of their intended purpose, are being imported;
  11. printed advertising materials and articles of advertising nature are being imported;
  12. goods are imported to be used or consumed during trade exhibitions or other similar events, etc.

The tax charged by the customs authorities shall be remitted to Executive Budget Revenue according to the procedure and within the time limits provided for payment of import duties.

In case of import of goods under a regime “temporary importation with partial exemption from import duty” the tax charged by the customs authorities shall be remitted to Executive Budget Revenue before the release of the goods.

For more information about the taxation of imports in Bulgaria or legal assistance please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: office@kgmp-legal.com or call us on: +359 2 851 72 59.


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