THE NATIONAL CUSTOMS AGENCY OF BULGARIA

IN FIGURES AND FACTS

2002 - 2006

BUDGET CONTRIBUTION

Over the period 2002 - 2006:

  • Budget revenue collected - 22 426 708342 levs
  • Revenue growth in 2006 as compared to 2001 - 182.3%
  • Since 2002 revenue growth outperforming the import growth

CUSTOMS DOCUMENTS CLEARED

Over the period 2002 - 2006:

  • Over 13 million customs documents cleared
  • In 2006, the number of customs documents cleared exceeded the one in 2001 by more than 1.2 million

LEGISLATION

 

A number of new as well as amended laws, regulations, ordinances, instructions, guidelines and other instruments have been elaborated and enforced. These instruments have contributed to the harmonization of the Bulgarian legislation with the Community Customs provisions and enabled their direct applicability as of January 1, 2007.

  • Those with particular importance include:

- Customs Act and its Implementing Regulation

- Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act and implementing provisions

- National Customs Agency' and Regional Customs Directorates' statutes

- Customs Tariff of the Republic of Bulgaria (on an annual basis until 2006)

  • Regulations, Ordinances, Instructions on:

- written declaration by means of SAD

- electronic declaration before customs authorities 

- introduction and application of autonomous duty suspension measures

- tariff quota management 

- the additional product tariff classification, and

- many others, as well as

- thousands of pages of other guidelines on various customs-related operative issues

Accession to conventions in the area of customs:

  • Convention on Temporary Admission - Istanbul Convention (SG/78 of 2003)
  • Protocol of Amendment to the International Convention on Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention), effective as of February 3, 2006.
  • Conventions drawn up on the basis of Article К.3 of the European Union Treaty (SG/84 of 2006) on:

- the use of information technology for customs purposes

- mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations  

EXTENSION OF FUNCTIONS AND POWERS

 

  • Administering the revenues from VAT and import excise duty in customs establishments accounts
  • Introduction of mobile customs control
  • Reinstatement of the customs pre-trial investigation into offences against customs regime (until the end of April 2006)
  • Setting up and pursuance of the principle of agreement with the offender in administrative penal proceedings
  • Application of border IPR protection measures
  • Establishment and development of the post-clearance control
  • Application of market surveillance measures for conformity of import goods with the safety rules
  • Administering the excise duties entirely by the customs administration (since July 1, 2006)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE BULGARIAN CUSTOMS INFORMATION SYSTEM BICIS

 

  • A new web-based version of BICIS has been operational nationwide enabling real time data exchange on import and export operations and control of transit operations - since 2003
  • New modules ‘Customs Debt', ‘Risk Analysis' and ‘Customs Authorizations' have been put into operation in 2005
  • Implemented online public receivable payment control system on import through information exchange with the banks serving the NCA accounts - since 2005
  • Established Communication Centre that provides interconnectivity with the EU systems - 2005
  • Implemented functionality for accounting of customs duties as part of EU Traditional Own Resources - 2006
  • Interconnectivity with NCTS linking Bulgaria to the EU common transit system - 2006
  • Interconnectivity with TARIC, TQS and other ITMS systems enabling application of the Community Customs Tariff in Bulgaria - 2006

FIGHT AGAINST CUSTOMS AND CURRENCY VIOLATIONS

 

Summary data:

  • Detected violations - 63 328 customs-, 1 137 currency- and 132 Excise Act-related cases
  • Of which 23 427 with high public risk (smuggling, customs fraud, deviation of goods from customs procedure)
  • Average of 35 revealed violations per day, of which 13 high pubic risk cases

Good smuggling and customs fraud by types of products:

  • 9 022 prevented attempts to smuggle cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos with a total of 144564 650 pieces seized
  • 778 kg of impounded products made of precious metals and foreign currency worth to 17887 291 levs seized
  • A total of 563 430 forged euros and 774150 forged dollars seized in 94 cases
  • Over 87 prevented attempts for illegal export of cultural valuables
  • 112 revealed cases of illicit trafficing in arms and ammunitions with 82237 items seized in total
  • 380 revealed cases customs fraud of approximately 6 542 tons of meat and products thereof
  • 161 revealed violations involving fuels - more than 22000 tons
  • Thousands of revealed violations covering other commodities, such as electronics, textile, spirits, chemical agents, foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables, etc.

Intellectual Property Protection:

  • A total of 950 seizures of goods, many of which include counterfeit distinguished brands of apparel, shoes, accessories and cosmetics
  • 233 217 pieces of CD, DVD and other audio and video copyright media seized

Illegal trafficking in drugs and precursors:

  • 503 cases of recovered drugs and precursors with a total weight of 19.550 tons:

- heroin - 171 instances totaling 2 948 kg 

- amphetamine - 46 cases totaling 1 753 kg

- cannabis products - 858 kg

- precursors - 9 160 kg and 1 652 058 tablets

- others - cocaine, psychotropic substances, ecstasy, opium, etc.

 

  • A toral 451 apprehended offenders from 22 nationalities
  • Biggest shipment of heroin - 230 kg, July 2002
  • A big single consignment of cocaine - 119 kg, July 2005
  • Stored narcotics - material evidence for 7 523 investigations and pre-trials proceedings
  • 11 303 kg of physically destroyed narcotics

Other enforcement activities:

  • Number of post verifications of proofs of origin - 23754
  • Over 150 different types of post-clearance audits

MOBILE CUSTOMS CONTROL

 

  • The first 5 Mobile Customs Teams with NCA, MoI-NSCOC and Crown Agents representatives were set up in September 2002
  • In June 2003, their number reached to 10
  • In December 2004, 5 specialized mobile teams were formed with the participation of NCA, MoI-NSCOC, Tax Administration and Crown Agents
  • In December 2006, the restructuring of MCT department was completed so as to enable permanent deployment of mobile customs teams to RCDs
  • 9 465 conducted checks, out of which 5 107 thorough examinations

 

 

CUSTOMS LABORATORIES

  • 17 892 laboratory analyses carried out
  • Average annual inconsistencies found ranging from 25 to 30%
  • 75 analysis techniques put into practice
  • Developed and functional Quality Management Systems at the Central Customs Laboratory (CCL) which was ISO 9001:2000 certified in 2004
  • A modern infrastructure provided for both CCL and the regional customs laboratories in Plovdiv and Rousse
  • Up-to-date equipment delivered for the three customs laboratories
  • CCL ISO 17025 accreditation procedure launched

TARIFF POLICY AND CUSTOMS PROCEDURES

  • BTIs issued - 736
  • Tariff classification opinions issued - 2 376
  • Approved exporter authorizations issued - 132
  • Approved customs agents - 265
  • Approved warehouses under customs supervision - 1 423
  • Approved use of comprehensive guarantees under transit - 307
  • Admission to TIR system provided to 2 597 carriers
  • Simplified declaration authorizations issued to 56 individuals

 

EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

 

  • Negotiations completed successfully and Chapter 25 ‘Customs Union' closed on July 29, 2002
  • Active NCA involvement in the review of the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU, in particular its part ‘Customs Union'
  • Preparation and carrying out monitoring missions of Commission experts in 2004, 2005 and 2006 to assess the administration's level of readiness to fulfill the EU membership criteria
  • High appreciation from the European Commission which stressed that "the Bulgarian customs administration has established an efficient control policy and the procedures applied are uniform and consistent"
  • Participation of 434 customs officials in seminars, workshops and exchanges under EC ‘Customs 2007' programme (known as ‘Customs 2002' until 2003)
  • Projects under EU Phare Programme:

- 19 successfully completed projects worth approximately EUR 15 million

- 6 projects totaling nearly EUR 9 million are currently under implementation

- projects awarded under Phare 2005 and Phare 2006 for EUR 11.15 million and EUR 12.35 million respectively

- draft project to the amount of EUR 2.8 million under the Transitional Financial Instrument worked out

  • Bilateral customs agreements signed with 8 countries: Iran, Moldova, Albania, Poland, France, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia
  • A jubilee conference organized on occasion of the Bulgarian Customs 125th Anniversary in 2004 attended by the WCO secretary general Mr. Michel Danet and honoured by considerable international presence
  • Two high level international meetings hosted in Sofia in 2006:

- a regional TIR seminar on the application of TIR Convention

- a session of the Cooperation Group of Drug Control Services at European airports within the Council of Europe Pompidou Group

  • Dozens of bi- and multilateral meetings held at customs DG level
  • Participation in hundreds of international conferences, symposia, workshops, etc.

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

  • This activity is based upon:

- Revised WCO Arusha Declaration on Integrity in Customs

- National Strategy for Transparent Government and for Prevention of and Counteraction to Corruption and programme for its implementation

  • Anti-corruption measures taken:

- Customs officials to submit an annual declaration on their property status and that of their family members

- Customs official's Code of Conduct adopted

- Disciplinary liability for ethical misconduct

- Training in customs ethics and anti-corruption

- Post boxes provided, e-mails and ‘hot' telephone lines announced for tip-offs and complaints

- Personal ID tags to be worn by customs officials

- Dissemination of anti-corruption brochures, stickers and leaflets

  • Statistics

- More than 1 880 controls and internal inquiries

- Over 620 disciplinary proceedings initiated

- 614 disciplinary sanctions imposed

- 106 dismissals

- 21 officials proved incompatible with the customs administration service requirements 

- 43 temporary suspensions from duty

COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND ECONOMIC OPERATORS 

  • A State-Public Consultative Commission on the Support of the Development of the Customs Administration set up
  • An Integrated Customs Tariff Committee established
  • Agreements concluded with the following market surveillance bodies: State Agency for Metrology and Technical Surveillance, Commission on Trade and Consumer Protection, State Veterinarian and Sanitary Control Agency, Technical Control Inspectorate, Ministry of Health, National Service for Plant Protection
  • Agreements and instructions in place to ensure interaction with the Prosecution Office, National Audit Office, Ministry of Interior, National Investigation Authority, Police and Military Counterintelligence Security Service, National Statistical Institute, Bulgarian National Bank, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, National Veterinary Medical Service, National Service for Plant Protection, Ministry of Health, Tax Administration, National Revenue Agency, etc.
  • Co-operation with Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bulgarian Industrial Association, Bulgarian Union for Customs and Foreign Trade Services, National Forwarders Association, National Organization of Customs Agents, AEBTRI, Bulgarian Association of the Music Producers and many other subsidiary organization
  • A new NCA website at http://www.customs.bg/

TRAINING

 

  • A total of 666 courses and seminars held at national level with 10 710 customs officials trained
  • 1 397 regional training sessions with the participation of 18 809 officials
  • Improved Customs Officials Training Strategy and developed Strategy on Organization and Management of Human Resources, Training and Qualification
  • 5 one-year external specializations of 100 customs officials in ‘International Economic Relations and Customs Policy' in partnership with the University of National and World Economy in Sofia
  • 1 325 customs officials underwent mandatory training and 279 were provided with special training at the Institute of Public Administration and European Integration
  • A number of completed training sessions on application of the customs legislation for customs operators and business community
  • A project was launched for introduction of Learning Management System (LMS) in the Bulgarian Customs Administration

INFRASTRUCTURE AND CUSTOMS CONTROL EQUIPMENT

  • New border crossing points opened at Lessovo and Ilinden BCPs
  • New customs offices opened at Obelya, Radinovo and Troyan COs
  • Reconstruction and upgrade of Kalotina, Kulata and Kapitan Andreevo BCPs; Vidin Ferry Complex BCP; Custom House of Bourgas; Custom House of Varna; Kazanlak, Stara Zagora and Gorublyane COs
  • Thorough checks and refrigerator facilities built at Bourgas West Port, Malko Tarnovo and Kapitan Andreevo BCPs
  • New Central Customs Directorate administrative building, customs terminal and warehousing facility at Kulata, Customs Canine School in Balchik, as well as an administrative building of Gyueshevo BCP
  • 9 mobile and portable x-ray scanners
  • 19 stationary x-ray scanners
  • 13 search kits
  • 17 endoscopes
  • 25 radiation pagers
  • Other equipment such as drug detectors, ?- and ?-ray dosimeters, document scanners, IR camera, electronic scales, etc.
  • 12 fork lift and motor cars