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By No owner — last modified Aug 25, 2017 10:25 PM

 Bulgaria - Formalities

Clearance

Clearance must be completed with Customs, Health, Immigration and Port Authority. Officials will usually visit the yacht on arrival and the crew must remain on board until formalities are completed. The formalities are not complicated, but passports and ship's papers may be retained until departure.

Standard documentation such as ships registration papers, insurance certificate and crew list and valid passports are required. A ships stamp is very helpful, not that there are many documents to be stamped in Bulgaria, but forms do have a place to stamp.

A certificate (Form A) will be issued at the first Port of Entry, valid for 6 months, and each section signed by the relevent officials. First Health officials, next the Border Police, then Customs and, finally, the Maritime Administration Office.
If there are no changes to skipper or crew, then Form B will not be needed.

Yachts are no longer required to check in/out of each port once clearance has been completed.

Departure
On departure from Bulgaria, Complete Form C and then follow the departure procedure at the Maritime Administration office and the Customs office. After which the form can then be authorised by the Border Police.

Port Control in the smaller harbours do not respond often on VHF 16.

Last updated November 2015.

Immigration

Passports must be valid at least three months beyond departure.

Bulgaria is a member of the European Union but not part of the Schengen Agreement Area.

Visas are not required by nationals of the following countries for visit of up to 90 days within a period of 6 months :- The EU, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The cost of the visa depends on the nationality and whether issued in advance or not.

There is a Bulgarian consulate in Istanbul, where visas are issued in 2 days.

See Bulgarian Embassy site for more information.

Last updated November 2015.

Customs

Firearms will be impounded until departure. Animals may be confined on board.

A list of all expensive, electronic and computer equipment on board may be requested.

Any changes to the yacht's inventory must be noted by a Customs officer.

As a member of the EU, non-EU yachts are subject to the 18 month Temporary Importation rules. See EU Vat Page.

Last updated November 2015.

Documents

All Bulgaria Ports of Entry follow the same procedure. The Certificate issued on entry to Bulgaria (see Clearance above) is valid for six months, as long as the yacht does not leave Bulgaria.

The officials here expect the skipper to be able to produce a "Certificate of Competance".

Restrictions

There are no restrictions on where you can go, but cruisers have commented that the local border Police in each town are obviously observant, because the minute you dock or come ashore by dinghy they will ask to see your passport. They record you in their "little black book", smile, and wish you a pleasant stay in Bulgaria.

When sailing past the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, crew members should strictly observe the relevant international safety regulations. Taking of photographs is only allowed with permission from the Nuclear Power Plant’s Security Department.

When sailing across the Bulgarian zone of the Danube, stops are forbidden at islands in the river or outside ports or other bases.

No commercial activity or charter permitted.

You cannot transport or take out of Bulgaria any historical objects or objects of cultural value.

If you want to go diving with your own scuba equipment you must first gain permission from the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.

Pets

Pets coming under the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) are allowed in and out of Bulgaria if they have current passport, microchip, Health Certificate and Rabies Vaccination Certificate and have been blood tested prior to travel.

Additional information from www.bulgariatravel.org or email info@bulgariatravel.org or order forms from www.pettravelstore.com

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