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Bulgaria - Clearance

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From 8th of April 2023 the access into Bulgarian sea and river ports of Russian registered vessels is forbidden.

With the introduction of the Europe-wide entry and exit system (EES)  (now delayed until 2024), biometric data will need to be recorded on entry and exit for third country travelers. While this negates the need to have passports stamped, it will require a visit to an official office at a port of entry, therefore flexible clearance at marinas may no longer be possible once it is implemented. It is not yet known how rigidly EES will be enforced for pleasure boat users.

ARRIVAL FORMALITIES

The Republic of Bulgaria is part of the single Customs territory of the Union where the Customs legislation of the European Union (EU) is applied. See the Noonsite EU page for details.

Ports of Entry:

The main seaports in Bulgaria are the port of Varna and the port of Burgas. Burgas is a large commercial harbour with limited facilities for private yachts, Sozopol would be a better place to stop – but is not a port of entry.

The best port to clear in coming from Turkey is Tzarevo, and coming from Romania is Balchik.

General Process:

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 official forms do have a place to stamp.

All Bulgaria Ports of Entry follow the same procedure.

A certificate (Form A) will be issued at the first Port of Entry and each section signed by the relevant officials. First Health officials, next to 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.

Domestic Cruising:

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

CLEARING OUT:

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 Channel 16.

Bulgaria Maritime Administration Website

Last updated:  May 2023

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Bulgaria was last updated 3 months ago.

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